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French Court Rejects Extradition

December 4, 1997

BORDEAUX, France (AP) _ A French court today rejected a U.S. request to extradite a former hippie guru and freed the man that American authorities wanted imprisoned for the 1977 murder of his girlfriend.

The Court of Appeals in the southwestern city of Bordeaux rejected the extradition after postponing the decision three times, and gave Ira Einhorn his freedom.

U.S. authorities wanted Einhorn to return to serve a life sentence following his 1993 conviction in absentia for murdering his girlfriend.

French law calls for a retrial for any person convicted in absentia. France also has abolished capital punishment, and the French authorities had sought guarantees that U.S. prosecutors would not seek the death penalty in the event of a retrial.

Einhorn had been convicted by a court in Pennsylvania, which does not provide for a new trial in case of an in absentia conviction.

U.S. authorities had wanted Einhorn returned to America to serve a life sentence following his 1993 conviction in absentia for killing girlfriend Holly Maddux of Tyler, Texas, and stuffing her body in a steamer trunk.

French police said this summer that the 57-year-old former anti-war activist, futurist and adviser to Philadelphia’s rich and powerful had been living in France after borrowing the name of a friend who was a London publisher.

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