Suspect in slaying flees to Israel

Comparisons are already being made with the case of a U.S. teenager who fled to Israel in September 1997, shortly after a murder was committed. Israel refused to extradite Samuel Sheinbein, who claimed Israeli citizenship because his father was born in pre-state Israel. Sheinbein is now serving a 24-year sentence in an Israeli jail for the murder.

The Sheinbein case spurred the Knesset to pass a law in April making it easier to extradite Israeli citizens charged with committing crimes abroad.

Weiz was arrested in Israel on Sunday, and Canadian police have already opened a discussion with Israeli law officials to determine whether he can be extradited to Canada or whether he will stand trial in Israel.

A Jerusalem court will decide whether he can be extradited.

Weiz is accused of second-degree murder in the high-profile case, in which Baranovski, a Russian Jewish emigre from Israel, and several friends were reportedly surrounded by 10 or 12 young men demanding cigarettes and money.

When Baranovski questioned why they were bothering him, they allegedly attacked him.

Two other suspects, both 16, have already been arrested, and a fourth is being sought.

Reports indicate that Weiz came to Toronto in August while on leave from the Israeli army and had made inquiries about enrolling in school here.

According to local news reports, Weiz had twice been charged with assault in Toronto in the past year, receiving a sentence of 14 days in each case. He was also reportedly on probation for 18 months and forbidden by court order to own a weapon for 10 years.