Greece frees Israeli arrested mistakenly on drug charges

The picture on Interpol’s warrant did not match the detainee. 

By World Israel News Staff

A Greek court on Tuesday ordered the release of an Israeli man following a two week detention after he was arrested on drug charges in what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

Dudi Ashkenazi was arrested by Greek authorities upon arriving on the island of Kos with his wife for a vacation. An Interpol warrant for his arrest showed that Ashkenazi had committed drug offences in Peru in 2012.

The 52-year-old Ashkenazi was imprisoned for two weeks on the island of Rhodes.

Ashkenazi and his family claim it was a misidentification.

The Interpol warrant also said that Ashkenazi had dual Israeli-Azerbaijani citizenship. But his wife, Rachel, said her husband does not have Azerbaijani citizenship.

Israel informed Greek authorities that the photo on the warrant did not match Ashkenazi. Israeli authorities also said that the warrant lists the identification number of a different Israeli citizen with the same name.

Petitioning the court, Ashkenazi said he was never in Peru in 2012 and provided a salary slip from the time he was supposed to have been there, proving that he was in Israel and working as a driver for the Dan bus company.

“My husband has never committed a crime in his life,” Ashkenazi’s wife told Army Radio shortly after his arrest. “This has turned into a living nightmare.”

The Greek court ordered that Dudi Ashkenazi remain in Rhodes for the time being until it reaches a final decision.

“Not only was Ashkenazi, an innocent Israeli, released from detention, but we prevented a serious entanglement and extradition of a person to Peru, a country where human rights are extremely limited,” his lawyer and Nir Jaslovitch said. “He is returning to his beloved family but this is far from over. We will now work tirelessly to allow him to return to his home, to Israel.”

“Dudi is a normal, innocent person. I am sure that the Israeli government will work to allow him to return quickly. There is no room to continue to trample on his rights,” said Jaslovitch.