Cyprus Court Rejects Organ Trafficking Suspect’s Extradition

FILE - An aircraft takes off from Larnaca airport past the control tower, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, at the southern coastal city of Larnaca, Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA (AP) — A lawyer representing a man sought in Russia in connection with an organ trafficking case says a Cypriot court has rejected Moscow’s request to extradite him.

Lawyer Yaniv Habari told the Associated Press Friday the court accepted the defense’s argument that a delay in seeking the extradition of his Israeli client, Moshe Harel, compromised his right to a fair trial.

Harel will remain in custody pending an appeal. He was arrested when he arrived in Cyprus in December 2017. An Israeli court had previously sentenced Harel to community service after convicting him on organ trafficking charges.

The case dates back to 2008-09 when donors from countries including Israel, Russia and Turkey were promised up to 12,000 euros for their kidneys, which were used in transplants performed in a Kosovo clinic.

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