France extradites US 'killer'
Photo: Einhorn was arrested at his home just minutes after the extradition
France has extradited American counter-culture leader Ira Einhorn to face a
fresh trial for the murder of his girlfriend 24 years ago.
Einhorn, 61, was handed over to US law enforcement officers at Paris
Charles de Gaulle airport and put on a US Government-chartered plane that
took off for Philadelphia at 0125 (2325 GMT), French police sources said.
Police had arrested Einhorn at his home on Thursday evening minutes after
his lawyers were told that the French Government had approved his extradition.
Hours earlier, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg said it
would not ask France for any further delay in moves to send him back to the US.
Einhorn was convicted in absentia in 1993 for the murder of his girlfriend
Holly Maddux, whose family were swift to welcome the news of Einhorn's arrest.
"When we see him in handcuffs in the custody of an American citizen, we
will be really happy," said her sister Meg Wakeman.
The FBI says Einhorn will be handed over Philadelphia police upon arrival
He lost his final appeal under French law against his extradition last
week, but the deportation was suspended for a week at the request of the
It said on Thursday that the request was being dropped because Einhorn's
medical condition was satisfactory and assurances had been given that he
would not face the death penalty.
Einhorn fled from Philadelphia while awaiting trial for murder, and
vanished for more than 15 years.
But in 1997 he was discovered living under an assumed name in south-west
France, sparking a legal battle to return him to the US.
Moments after the European court decision, Einhorn emerged from his home in
the French village of Champagne-Mouton to declare his innocence.
"I will be happy to go to the US if the court gives me a new trial," he said.
He added that guarantees of a new trial from Philadelphia's district
attorney were insufficient, saying he wanted them from the Pennsylvania
In Philadelphia, a former city district attorney's office investigator who
helped track down Einhorn called the developments in Strasbourg "a victory
The US court that tried him in absentia in 1993, found him guilty of
bludgeoning Miss Maddux to death, and gave him a life sentence.
Einhorn claims he fled the US because he would not have received a fair
hearing, as he had organised demonstrations against the Vietnam war.
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