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France seeks extradition of Israeli tycoon detained in Switzerland

GENEVA - Swiss officials say France is seeking the extradition of a wealthy Israeli businessman who was arrested in Switzerland last week. Arkady Gaydamak was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison by a French court in 2009, for masterminding the trafficking of Soviet-made weapons to Angola during a civil war in the 1990s. Geneva prosecutors say Gaydamak, who also has French citizenship, was arrested Nov. 19 in Zurich on an unrelated matter.

Detained 'Angolagate' tycoon seeks Swiss bail

Fugitive tycoon Arkady Gaydamak has asked the Swiss authorities to grant him bail, a week after he was arrested for alleged breach of financial trust, a prosecutor told AFP Tuesday. Geneva prosecutor Dario Zani said justice authorities would rule on the request "over coming days", and added that Franco-Israeli citizen Gaydamak had also sought to claim immunity as an Angolan diplomat. Gaydamak, 61, is wanted in France for his role in the 1990s "Angolagate" scandal over illegal arms sales to the African nation during its civil war. pjt-jwf/lc

Israeli soccer racists may have gone step too far

The torching of Beitar Jerusalem's offices by fans angry at the signing of two Muslim players has sparked a major outcry which both supporters and ex-players hope could end decades of open racism at the club. Friday morning's arson attack, which caused heavy damage to a room used as the club's museum, came just hours after prosecutors filed charges against four fans accused of racist chants aimed at the two new players from Chechnya.

Police ejected 45 football fans from Jerusalem match

Israeli police deployed outside Jerusalem's Teddy stadium to contain possible racist protests by football supporters on a visit by an Arab team ejected 45 people from the premises, a spokeswoman said. Teddy stadium's Beitar Jerusalem football club was hosting a match against the Arab Israeli team Benei Sakhnin. The match drew 2-2 without any major incident, but police forced 25 fans of Beitar and 20 from Sakhnin to leave, the police spokeswoman said. She added that a number of fans from each side had been arrested before the game for having a "provocative attitude."

Police deploy to contain racist Israeli football supporters

More than 600 Israeli police deployed on Sunday outside Jerusalem's Teddy stadium to contain possible racist protests by football supporters during a visit by an Arab team, a security spokesman said. "We put 600 to 700 uniformed and plain clothes policemen in place to avoid any disorder and restrain any racist protest," Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. Teddy stadium's Beitar Jerusalem football club was hosting a match against the Arab Israeli team Benei Sakhnin.

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Beitar punished for fan racism, crush opponents

(Updates after punishment announced, end of match) By Ori Lewis JERUSALEM, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Hundreds of police officers and stewards watched as Beitar Jerusalem crushed Arab club Maccabi Umm el-Fahm 5-0 in their Israeli State Cup tie on Tuesday after receiving a relatively mild punishment for racist behaviour from some of their fans at the weekend.

Israeli soccer club's fans object to adding Muslim players

* Fans vow Beitar Jerusalem will "remain pure" * Owner intends to recruit two Muslim Chechens * Israeli deputy PM says fans displayed racist behaviour * Club's fans notorious for taunting Arab players By Ori Lewis JERUSALEM, Jan 27 (Reuters) - An Israeli soccer club notorious for the anti-Arab chants of its fans plans to recruit two Muslim players, fuelling protests in the stands that a senior cabinet minister condemned as shocking and racist.
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