Photo: Yehezkel Adiram
Israeli underworld kingpin Zeev Rosenstein
Photo: Yehezkel Adiram

Israeli gangster keeping fit in US jail

Awaiting trial in US for drugs trafficking charges, Israeli underworld kingpin Zeev Rosenstein speaks of ordeal in Miami jail

Israel's Consul General in Miami, Eli Yefrah, visited underworld kingpin Zeev Rosenstein in jail part of a series of visits to Israelis serving time in the jails across the state.


His hands and legs chained, Rosenstein told Yefrah that he had lost nine kilograms since his arrival in the US six months ago. "I lost my belly," he said.


Rosenstein said he is finding it difficult to adapt to life in jail and complained about the poor quality food and drinks served to inmates.


"Since I arrived in jail, I haven't had a single cup of coffee or any other hot drink," he said.


He also complained about not being able to visit the jail's Knesset: "In the lead-up to Rosh Hashana I asked to pray at the jail's synagogue, but they are not giving me permission."


Facing drugs trafficking charges in a trial that will open by the end of November, Rosenstein said he is confident he will be acquitted. "I believe in my innocence and I am sure I will be acquitted," he told Yefrah.


"I feel like injustice has been done to me as I shouldn't have been extradited to the United States. I should have been tried it should have taken place in Israel. They hurt me by handing me over to a foreign country."


Yefrah said Rosenstein has spent most the last six months between four walls and has read about 30 books including Shimon Peres' and Ariel Sharon's biographies.


Rosenstein said he has been closely following events in Israel since the war with Hizbullah ended, saying he receives a Hebrew daily to his cell.


פרסום ראשון: 09.21.06, 02:25
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