Israeli accused of Swiss diamond theft is extraditable
Jerusalem District Court rules Felix Prakopetz charged in Switzerland for stealing $2.3 million worth of diamonds, by switching them for candy, can be handed over to Swiss authorities
Omri Efraim • Ynet
The Jerusalem District Court ruled that Felix Prakopetz, and Israeli citizen who was accused in Switzerland of stealing $2.3 million worth of diamonds, is extraditable.
Prakopetz requested a permit to serve his sentence in Israel, despite the extradition ruling. He claimed he was a victim of a scam orchestrated by an international firm.
Prakopetz, 61, was arrested last July at his Ramat Gan home on suspicion of stealing the diamonds from a Geneva diamond dealer called ALLDIAM.
In the extradition request it is stated that Prakopetz defrauded the managers of a Swiss diamond firm when he switched the diamonds with candy and reportedly escaped to Israel. Police suspect that Prakopetz and his accomplice, a former Israeli residing abroad, stole the diamonds in April 2009 during a meeting in the offices of a Geneva diamond dealer.
Prakopetz was later discovered in Israel, having entered the country under a false identity. His partner was arrested in Holland at the end of 2009 and extradited to Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Prakopetz continued to deny all accusations in the courthouse on Monday, claiming he was the one who fell victim to a con by the ALLDIAM Company. He also requested to serve his sentence in Israel because he is an Israeli citizen.
Prakopetz's attorney claimed in court that his client, who suffers from health issues, has not received his medication, sent to him by his family. Prakopetz's wife told Ynet: "He is in a cell with mental patients and he's in danger. I brought him his meds but he didn't get them, and he recently had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor."
She added that her husband "didn't do anything they're accusing him of and I don't know what I'll do if he's extradited to Switzerland."
Prakopetz was released to house arrest following the court hearing. The attorney for the International Department at the Prosecutor's Office, Galit Greenberg, told Ynet that "the court accepted the State's claims after ruling that there are legal grounds to allow Prakopetz's extradition."
Aviad Glickman contributed to the report.