Jerusalem, 23 September 2001

Israel Requests Marwan Bargouti’s Extradition
(Communicated by the Justice Ministry Spokesman)

The Justice Ministry, via the Jerusalem District of the Israel Police, has today (Sunday), Sept 23, 2001, requested that the Jerusalem Magistrates Court issue an arrest warrant for West Bank Tanzim leader Marwan Bargouti. Upon the warrant’s issue, the Justice Ministry officially requested that the Palestinian Authority extradite Bargouti to the State of Israel in accordance with the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of September 28, 1995, (Annex IV, Art.II,7) so as to enable him to be questioned regarding his involvement in organizing several terrorist attacks which have occurred in recent months.

Several months ago, Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein asked that the relevant security officials turn over to the Justice Ministry such evidentiary material as has been gathered regarding Marwan Bargouti’s involvement in organizing attacks against Israelis. The material was received by senior Justice Ministry official Jean Claude Nidam’s office where it was processed for submission to the court in order to obtain an arrest warrant for Mr. Bargouti.

Suspicions arise, inter alia, from the material regarding Bargouti’s direct involvement in two terrorist attacks: the murder of Greek Orthodox monk Georgios Tsibouktzakis on the Jerusalem-Ma’aleh Adumim highway (June 12, 2001) and a June 2001 shooting attack in which an Israeli driver was wounded. The request for the arrest warrant alleges that Bargouti abetted murder and attempted murder, possessed illegal weapons, held unlicensed military training exercises, and belonged to and was active in illegal organizations.