Cayman visitor waives extradition hearing

Ofer Kahal was arrested at Owen Roberts International Airport at the request of Israeli authorities

 

Ofer Kahal, who was arrested in Cayman following a request from Israel, has waived his right to contest an extradition hearing and now awaits arrangements for his voluntary return to that country.  

Kahal, also known as Ofer Khal, appeared in Summary Court on Tuesday, when the necessary documents were signed by him and Magistrate Valdis Foldats. One factor the magistrate had to be sure of was that the offense for which he is charged in Israel is also an offense in the Cayman Islands. 

Israeli authorities accuse him of driving a vehicle recklessly on March 30, 1997, and by so doing causing the death of two men. Cayman has a similar offense. 

Kahal, who has been resident in the U.S. for the last 15 years, had come to Cayman with his wife for a brief holiday. He was arrested at Owen Roberts International Airport on June 8 as they were leaving. 

When Kahal first appeared in court on the day after his arrest, Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards and defense attorney Lucy Organ explained that Kahal was found not guilty after trial in 2000, but was convicted on appeal in 2001. By that time, however, he had left Israel and was living in the U.S. Now 42, he is a German national who was serving in the Israeli military forces at the time of the incident. 

Kahal was granted bail in June and has been living at a hotel on Seven Mile Beach. Family members traveled to Cayman after his arrest and put up a cash security of US$50,000 for him. 

At court proceedings on Tuesday, the magistrate said Kahal’s electronic monitor could be removed, but he must still report to the George Town police station, and the cash security remains in place. 

Kahal has consented to revised bail arrangements while he awaits arrangements for his return to Israel. It was not clear whether he would be escorted by members of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service or by Israeli marshals.  

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