Former Tel Aviv District Court Judge Dan Cohen, who is suspected of accepting a bribe amounting to about NIS 5.4 million ($1.42M) from German industrial conglomerate Siemens when he served as a member of the Israel Electric Company's management, was arrested overnight Monday by Interpol following an extradition request filed by Israel's State Prosecutor's Office with a local court.
According to suspicions, in exchange for the money Cohen urged the Electric Company to purchase turbines manufactured by Siemens without a tender.
The former judge is also suspected of obstruction of justice and of promoting a shady real estate deal, in which nearly 100 acres of land adjacent to Ashdod's power plant were sold to the Electric Company for an inflated price of $62.5 million. According to the indictment filed against him in Israel, Cohen pocketed $2 million from the deal.
The investigation against Cohen (66), who is related by marriage to former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak, was launched in 2003 by the Israel Securities Authority. He fled to the Peruvian capital Lima two years later. Peru has no extradition treaty with Israel.
In a recent interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, Cohen said he left Israel "as a free man, without any limitations, for a sabbatical which was planned a long time in advance.
"I plan on returning to Israel in due time; the rumors regarding my alleged escape are false," he said.