According to the Cypriot news website Philenews, the Israeli scientist Gal Luft has vanished in Cyprus after being released on bail by a court in Larnaca. Luft is sought by U.S. authorities for allegedly trading weapons.
Luft was apprehended at Larnaca International Airport in southern Cyprus following the issuance of an arrest warrant by Interpol on the grounds that he may have been involved in the trafficking of armaments to China and Libya. Then, he was to be extradited to the United States.
The Larnaca District Court ordered him to pay €150,000 as a guarantee, set up €250,000 with a guarantor, and make regular appearances at the Paphos central police station. He was then released while the court considered the extradition request from the United States.
Luft failed to appear on March 28 as mandated at the Paphos police station. The same day, Luft’s attorney reported him missing and conveyed concern for his client’s safety.
The next day, Luft’s abandoned vehicle was discovered, and according to sources cited by Philenews, Cypriot police are now investigating the possibility that Luft has completely left the country.
Since he missed his court date on April 3, the €400,000 Luft put up as a guarantee has been placed on hold.
The Larnaca police spokesperson Haris Hadjiyiasemi told the Cyprus Mail that a new European and international arrest warrant has been issued against him.
Luft stated that he had “never been an arms dealer” and that the US Justice Department was “trying to bury me to protect [US President Joe] Biden’s family” in response to the allegations.
I've been arrested in Cyprus on a politically motivated extradition request by the US.
The US, claiming I'm an arms dealer. It would be funny if it weren't tragic.
I've never been an arms dealer.
DOJ is trying to bury me to protect Joe,Jim&Hunter Biden.
Shall I name names?
— Gal Luft (@GalLuft) February 19, 2023
Author and energy security and diplomatic expert Luft co-directs the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), a think tank focusing on energy, security, and economic trends, according to its website.
He has criticized American foreign policy and the Biden administration as a whole in the past. Luft charged that the Biden administration’s “commitment to democracy goes only as far as its interests allow” at an event titled “International Forum on Democracy: Shared Human Values” in Beijing in 2021.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Gal Luft was co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security prior to the alleged arms transactions. He received a PhD in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, and in 2011 he became a Senior Advisor at the US Energy Security Council.
Moreover, he was the Chairman of International Privacy Machines and an Adjunct Professor at OSTIM in Turkey.
According to Ynet News, Luft was particularly critical of the Biden administration, claiming that the President and his cabinet members were acting in an anti-democratic and self-serving manner. According to Intelligence Online, he was a member of a think tank alongside numerous officials and ex-US agents.
According to Gal Luft’s attorney, Mordechai Tzivin, the Biden administration is pursing the accused arms dealer because he allegedly provided damaging evidence against Hunter Biden in a corruption case. Reports indicate that the latter is being investigated for potential tax fraud. The case has been ongoing since 2018. Tzivin continued
“The arrest came four years after Luft cooperated with FBI and Department of Justice investigators to help them with information about the case.”
According to Tzivin, if Luft is permitted to depose, he could destroy Hunter Biden’s career. In response, he asserted that the Biden administration’s accusations are solely intended to discredit him.
“If it were Russia, this would’ve already been a diplomatic collision (…) it’s not unreasonable to think that the Democrats or some of their peers would like him gone. His testimony will be very devastating, it will divert attention to the president himself as well.”
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
Tzivin went on to say that he is especially concerned about the potential extradition since he does not have faith in the US authorities to keep Luft safe. He said he might be in physical danger because it is rumored that the President is seeking Luft. CONTINUE READING…