Father of captive Israeli soldier asks French judges' help
The father of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by Palestinian militants in Gaza in 2006, asked judges in Paris on Monday to take steps against Hamas leaders he blames for his son's fate, his lawyer said.
"The judges have several avenues available to them, including demanding to question these individuals," lawyer Patrick Klugman said after Noam Shalit appeared before the court in a lawsuit filed on his son's kidnapping and illegal detention.
"This is only the beginning of the judicial process," he said.
The parents of Shalit, who also has French citizenship, lodged a case with the French courts in June, arguing that French judges had wider investigating powers and their Israeli counterparts would have trouble getting cooperation from Arab states.
Noam Shalit on Monday gave judges the names of three people he believes carry "clear responsibility" for his son's disappearance, including Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal and his deputy Mussa Abu Marzuk, the lawyer said.
"These people have claimed the abduction yet walk about freely in countries like Turkey and Egypt with which France enjoys judicial cooperation," he added.
The militant group, which took control of Gaza a year after Shalit's capture, has demanded the return of hundreds of prisoners in exchange for his release, including scores of militants responsible for deadly anti-Israeli attacks.
Shalit, now 24, was seized in a 2006 dawn cross-border raid by militants from three Palestinian groups, including Hamas.
The last sign of life received from his captors was in October 2009 when a video recording showed him looking gaunt but apparently in good health.
© 2011 AFP