Small Jewish community. Cairo (archives)
Photo: Yaakov Saar, GPO

Head of Egypt's Jewish community faces jail time

Carmen Weinstein convicted of defrauding local businessman, sentenced to three years in prison. Israel not intervening due to Jewish community's 'sensitive position'

Carmen Weinstein, the head of Egypt’s small Jewish community, was sentenced on Saturday to three years in prison after being convicted of defrauding an Egyptian businessman out of three million Egyptian pounds (around 520,000 dollars).


The court said she had sold him a building which did not belong to her and then refused to return his money.


According to the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, Israeli Ambassador to Cairo Yitzhak Levanon was instructed not to intervene. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is scheduled to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Tuesday, will apparently not raise the issue either.


Weinstein claims documents indicating she had sold the building were forged.


An official in Jerusalem told Yedioth Ahronoth, "Considering the sensitive position of the members of Egypt's small Jewish community, any intervention on Israel's part may hurt them and Ms. Weinstein."


On Sunday Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jareeda reported that Levanon sent a note protesting the sentence to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, accusing the judiciary of "oppression and cruelty" and saying it reflected a bias against Weinstein because of her religion.


Jerusalem denied the report. "Ambassador Levanon did not send any such letter," an official said.


News agencies contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 07.12.10, 10:17
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