Listening to what former Brooklyn D.A. Liz Holtzman said about the notorious fugitive from justice Avrohom Mondrowitz on Zev Brenner's show last night caused me to think in some detail about the failed attempts to extradite him.
Listening to what former Brooklyn D.A. Liz Holtzman said about Avrohom Mondrowitz on Zev Brenner's show last night caused me to think in some detail about the failed attempt to extradite him.
For those of you who don't know, Mondrowitz fled indictment in Brooklyn for child rape with the help and encouragement of haredi and Orthodox rabbis and ended up in Israel, where's he's lived for a quarter century, almost all of that time openly in Jerusalem.
Mondrowitz escaped extradition twice, the first soon after his flight from Brooklyn. Israel refused to extradite him then on the flimsy pretext that its extradition treaty with the US covered rape but not sodomy. (In other words, a rapist of a 12-year-old girl would have been extradited according to Israel but a rapist of a 12-year-old boy – or of dozens of 12-year-old boys – would not have been because undefined rape doesn’t cover man-on-boy sodomy. This was Israel’s position – not Mondrowitz’s – which should tell you much about how dishonest Israel can be when it wants to.)
Another try was made almost two decades later by a different D.A., Charles Hynes, when the treaty was finally changed and the new version of it took effect.
Rehashing what took place then brought up something I was told five years ago when the new treaty went into effect. A normal extradition request takes about six weeks from the moment a DA asks the US State Department until the other country responds. Since Mondrowitz was arrested in October, the request should have been made in the last week of August of the first week of September.
So I asked the Brooklyn D.A. this afternoon for the date.
His spokesperson Jerry Schmetterer told me Hynes asked for Mondrowitz to be extradited in April 2007.
Again, Israel didn't arrest Mondrowitz until October – literally hours before the Ha'aretz exposé on him was about to be published (an exposé that I'm happy to say I was able to shape somewhat by making certain evidence about Mondrowitz accessible to it).
That means the US Department of State and Israel took and extraordinary length of time to act – four times what I was told was normal.
I think that when Michael Lesher gets the Mondrowitz documents from his long-fought FOIL request – which should happen this week if it hasn't happened already – they should show an almost six month delay.
Hynes, could have made that request three months earlier. But he didn't.
Lesher's documents may answer these questions.
It is not out of line to think that extraditing Mondrowitz – who allegedly raped dozens of boys but who had been in Israel for two decades – wasn't a very high priority for Hynes.
But even if that's true, it clearly wasn't a high priority for Israel, either.
In the end, Mondrowitz wasn't extradited because Israel's High Court of Justice ruled the evidence against this fugitive child rapist was too old, and that too much time had passed for Mondrowitz to get a fair trial – something Holtzman found shocking, absurd and revolting, as did I and should you.
At any rate, who wanted to extradite Mondrowitz and how bad they did or did not want it should be known very soon.
Time – a very, very brief amount of time – should finally tell us the truth.