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France Sets Extradition of Culprit in U.S. Killing, Then Delays It

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  • radman
    July 13, 2001 France Sets Extradition of Culprit in U.S. Killing, Then Delays It By THE ASSOCIATED
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 13, 2001
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      July 13, 2001

      France Sets Extradition of Culprit in U.S. Killing, Then Delays It

      <http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/13/national/13EINH.html>

      By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

      CHAMPAGNE-MOUTON, France, July 12 A fugitive convicted of killing his
      girlfriend in Philadelphia nearly a quarter-century ago was ordered
      extradited to the United States today, though France quickly delayed the move.
      Shortly after hearing of the extradition order by the Council of State,
      France's highest administrative body, the fugitive, Ira Einhorn slit his
      throat, his lawyer said, but then decided he wanted to live.
      The wound was not described as serious, and as Mr. Einhorn, a 61- year-old
      former antiwar advocate, was being treated in a hospital, France agreed to
      delay his extradition for a week at the request of the European Court of
      Human Rights.
      Mr. Einhorn's lawyer, Dominique Tricaud, said his client should be released
      from the hospital within two days.
      A French television crew invited to Mr. Einhorn's home here in southwestern
      France found him sitting in the kitchen, blood soaking his shirt, an open
      wound at the base of his neck. A doctor bandaged the wound only after Mr.
      Einhorn had given his interview, in which he railed against Prime Minister
      Lionel Jospin for his predicament. Mr. Jospin approved the extradition last
      July and refused to reconsider the order in October.
      "He created this. He is responsible," Mr. Einhorn said, pointing to his
      wound. "He is sending me back to America, where I will stay for the rest of
      my life in prison, without mercy."
      Mr. Einhorn then climbed into an ambulance unassisted.
      Another of his lawyers, Dominique Delthil, insisted that Mr. Einhorn was
      not merely trying to stave off extradition when he cut himself. "I think he
      had really decided to end his life, but at the last minute he changed his
      mind," Mr. Delthil said. "It wasn't just an act."
      Mr. Einhorn fled the United States in 1981, soon before he was to stand
      trial in the 1977 bludgeoning death of his girlfriend, Holly Maddux of
      Tyler, Tex. Her corpse was found stuffed in a trunk inside a closet of the
      Philadelphia apartment she shared with Mr. Einhorn.
      Mr. Einhorn has denied killing Ms. Maddux, saying the charges stemmed from
      a government conspiracy against him.
      The victim's sister, Mary Maddux, reacted with relief to today's ruling.
      "It's been 24 years," she said. "Hopefully this will be drawing 24 years of
      a chase to a close, at least to get Ira back here."
      The European court asked the French government to postpone the extradition
      for a week so it could look into the case. It also asked for information
      about Mr. Einhorn's health.
      The case has taken many legal turns over the years. In 1993, Mr. Einhorn
      was sentenced in absentia to life in prison. The United States made its
      initial request for extradition in 1997, after police tracked him to
      Champagne-Mouton.
      France does not extradite foreign nationals based on trials in absentia. It
      also refuses to extradite people to countries where they could face the
      death penalty.
      But a 1998 Pennsylvania law provided for a retrial, and United States
      officials promised that Mr. Einhorn would not be eligible for the death
      penalty because capital punishment was not legal in that state at the time
      of the crime.
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