A Romanian arrest warrant led to the detention of Israeli mining tycoon Beny Steinmetz in Cyprus, according to a Steinmetz representative on Sunday.
Steinmetz is at the center of a lawsuit that has been going on for a while because of his suspected participation in a group that attempted to fraudulently obtain land rights in Romania. On the basis of the warrant issued by Romania, he was already wanted for arrest in some other European nations but was released.
He is expected to appear before a Cypriot court later this week. A magistrate in the town of Larnaca on Sept 1. ordered his detention pending translation of the warrant, judicial sources said. The order had no bearing on the merits of the case.
Steinmetz was detained on Thursday “during his arrival at Larnaca airport, due to a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by the Romanian authorities, which has already been cancelled in various European countries, among them Greece and Italy,” his spokesperson said.
Cyprus police had no immediate comment. As a practice, Cypriot authorities do not comment on extradition requests.
Steinmetz is involved in a separate legal battle in Switzerland where he has been found guilty of corruption in a case regarding exploration permits for deposits of iron ore in Guinea.
“Beny Steinmetz welcomes the opportunity to be vindicated in one more European State, against Romania, a country infamous for its disrespect to human rights,” Steinmetz’s spokesperson said in a statement.