[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 23:47 GMT
Manhunt recaptures Israel rapist
Benny Sela
Benny Sela is reputed to be a master of disguise
Israeli police have recaptured a serial rapist two weeks after he escaped from police custody in Tel Aviv.

Benny Sela's escape on 24 November prompted Israel's largest manhunt, with thousands of volunteers helping police search nationwide for the man.

He was picked up in Nahariya, in northern Israel, police said.

The search for Sela, reputed to be a master of disguise, sparked nationwide interest. He was jailed in 2000 for 35 years for the rape of 14 women.

It was the longest sentence ever handed out in Israel for rape.

False court summons

Sela was being escorted by two police officers into a court building in Tel Aviv for a hearing when he escaped.

After entering the building, Sela told the two police officers that he had forgotten something in the car and went back into the parking lot with one of the officers, Associated Press news agency said.

He then broke away from the officer and managed to climb over a wall and flee into the streets of Tel Aviv despite being handcuffed.

The court summons for the hearing was later found to be falsified and an investigation is under way to try to find out if he had inside help.

"I hope his days as a free man are over," said Public Security Minister Avi Dichter after he was arrested.

Israeli media reported that police had picked him up acting on a tip from one of his relatives.

He was reported to be driving a stolen car and pretended to be an Arab when police stopped him.

Before his initial arrest in 1999, Sela had eluded police for several years by constantly changing his identity using fake documents and disguises.


SEE ALSO
Massive hunt for Israeli rapist
27 Nov 06 |  Middle East



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific