French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday told Jewish dignitaries in Paris that Eric Rubic and Claud Isaac, both French nationals wanted for the killing of 25-year-old Lee Zeituni in Tel Aviv last September, would not be extradited to Israel for trial.
President Sarkozy spoke at the annual dinner of the Jewish communities in France, and this was his first public mention of the pending extradition request. He condemned the actions of his two countrymen, and said that both must account for their immoral actions. Nevertheless, the President insisted that “France’s position in this area is firm, and we do not extradite our citizens, without exceptions.”
Sarkosy made clear he did not wish for the two hit-and-run killers, who fled Israel shortly after their car ran over Zeituni, to escape punishment. He suggested that “Israel and the family should file a suit in France and those responsible would be tried and punished.”
Lee Zeituni’s father and boyfriend were not permitted into the dinner hall and were forced to wait outside while the President spoke.
The maximum prison sentence the two escaped suspects can receive in France is seven years, compared to 20 years in Israel.