Cyprus Mail

Man faces extradition over boy’s abduction in Italy (Updated)

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He is also being investigated for burglary and theft of a hunting firearm

A 50-year-old man has been remanded in custody pending his extradition hearing on November 29 in connection with the abduction of a six-year-old boy in Italy.

The suspect was arrested on a European arrest warrant on Friday morning.

The case concerns the abduction of Eitan Biran, the sole survivor of a cable car crash last May, which killed 14 people, including his family.

He was taken to Israel by his father amid a custody battle. Italian authorities issued international and European arrest warrants against certain individuals.

The head of Limassol CID Lefteris Kyriacou said police had received a European arrest warrant for the suspect on November 12.

The man is suspected of involvement in the abduction of a minor in Italy in September, Kyriacou said.

Police tracked down the suspect to a hotel in Limassol where he was arrested.

“According to the European arrest warrant, the 50-year-old and another person, allegedly conspired and took the minor to a third country without the guardian’s consent,” Kyriacou said.

The Times of Israel said the boy’s maternal grandfather, Shmuel Peleg, whisked him away from his paternal aunt’s home and took him to Israel on a private jet in September in violation of a court order.

Italian daily Corriere Della Sera, said warrants had been issued for Peleg as well as for Gabriel Abutbul Alon, a “contractor” who is thought to have driven the vehicle used to take Peleg and his grandson from Italy to neighbouring Switzerland, from where they were flown to Israel.

At the time of the crash, Biran and his parents, Amit Biran and Tal Peleg, and his younger brother, Tom, had been living in Italy, where Amit Biran was studying medicine.

After his release from hospital following weeks of treatment, Italian juvenile court officials ruled the child would live with a paternal aunt, Aya Biran, near Pavia, northern Italy.

Last month, a Tel Aviv court ordered the six-year-old be returned to his relatives in Italy where he would remain in the custody of his paternal aunt, the Times of Israel reported.

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