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Italy issues arrest warrant for grandfather of cable car crash survivor

Shmulik Peleg, pictured arriving at a court in Tel Aviv in October.
Shmulik Peleg, pictured arriving at a court in Tel Aviv in October. Copyright AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov
Copyright AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov
By Euronews with AFP
Published on Updated
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Shmulik Peleg is accused of taking his grandson to Israel against the wishes of his Italian relatives.

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Italy has issued an arrest warrant for the grandfather of a boy who was kidnapped after surviving a cable car crash.

Six-year-old Eitan Biran has been at the centre of a family custody dispute since the deadly accident in May, which killed Biran’s parents and younger brother.

The boy was taken to Israel by his maternal grandfather, Shmulik Peleg, against his families' wishes.

Last month an Israeli court ruled that Eitan should be returned to his relatives in Italy and fined Peleg 70,000 shekels (€19,000).

But on Wednesday, the public prosecutor's office in Pavia also issued an international arrest warrant for kidnapping.

A second international arrest warrant was also issued for an alleged accomplice, Israeli national Gabriel Abutbul Alon.

The two men are accused of "kidnapping, abduction and sequestration abroad of a minor".

Peleg and Alon allegedly drove the boy to Switzerland and then flew him to Tel Aviv paying €42,000 for a private plane.

The boy's paternal relatives say he was taken without their knowledge and filed a legal complaint in Italy seeking his return.

An Italian juvenile court had ruled that the child would live with a paternal aunt in northern Italy, while his mother's family in Israel had visitation rights.

But the Peleg family has defended his decision to spirit the boy away, saying it was in the child’s best interests and have fought against the Israeli court ruling.

Magistrates in northern Italy have asked for the two men to be extradited to Italy once they are arrested.

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