'Israeli mercenary' Klein released in Russia
Russia has released a former Israeli soldier Yair Klein, who spent more than three years behind bars on Colombia's accusations of criminal conspiracy, RIA Novosti reported.
Klein, a former Israeli lieutenant colonel, was captured by Interpol in Moscow in August 2007 following a request by the Colombian authorities, who accuse him of training drug barons' private armies and paramilitary groups in the 1980s.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia cannot extradite Klein to Colombia, saying that he may face torture in the country, where he was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison. Klein has said his extradition would mean a "death sentence."
The Israeli television showed Klein coming out of a pretrial detention center in Moscow on Friday, hugging several people, shaking the hand of a police officer and leaving the scene in a 4x4 car after a short interview with media representatives.
Klein told journalists he would publish two books in the near future that would "create a stir" in Israel.
He also complained that his conditions in jail left much to be desired and accused the Israeli authorities of insufficient efforts to release him.
Klein has arrived in Israel earlier on Saturday, Israeli media reported.
Klein has denied ever working with cocaine cartels, but confirmed that he did instruct far-right death squads. He said he was initially hired - with the Colombian Defense Ministry's blessing - to organize security for the banana industry in northern Colombia.
Klein spent 16 months in a Sierra Leone prison between 1999 and 2000 for smuggling arms to rebels from the Revolutionary United Front (RUF).