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Egyptian Jewish community leader disappears

Carmen Weinstein missing after being convicted of fraud; local sources suspect she fled country; Israel also blamed

Egyptian media reported that Carmen Weinstein (82), convicted of fraud, had fled the country after she received a sentence of three years behind bars, a fine of 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,750) and compensation payments of 40,000 Egyptian pounds ($7,000).


Weinstein was convicted of illegally selling a building belonging to the Jewish community to Egyptian businessman Nabil Bashai. She received the money but the deeds were not transferred to his owership because she had no right to sell the building.


Egyptian security sources confirmed that Weinstein had disappeared and that searches had not discovered her whereabouts.


Some Egyptian sources claimed she had escaped to the US. Hassan, her neighbor and owner of a shoe shop in central Cairo, said she had fled to an unknown destination after the sentence was handed down. He said she would visit his store most days, but that she had not been recently.


The Jewish community secretary, Rauf Fuad Tawfiq, said Weinstein had not fled, but gone to visit the US, and that she intended to return to Egypt at a yet undetermined date. He also said she had left before the ruling, and not in response.


Security sources said she may have succeeded in leaving because it takes a few days to update the lists of those forbidden to leave at the airports and border crossings. The A-Zaman newspaper even accused Israel of being behind her departure.


In any case, Weinstein is an aged woman with health problems who was no doubt shaken by the sentence. Ynet learned that it had been difficult to contact her recently even by telephone.



פרסום ראשון: 07.25.10, 00:12
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