Jordan orders release of Israeli businessman who contracted COVID while jailed

A Jordanian judge on Tuesday ordered the release of an Israeli businessman who is in critical condition after contracting coronavirus while behind bars. Yehiel Hayavi will be allowed to return to Israel.

Hayavi, 65, was jailed earlier this month. His family claims he was framed by a local businessman who lured him to the country under the pretext of signing a phony business deal, which led to his arrest on August 9.

Haivi is a resident of Ashkelon and the son of Aharon Hayavi, a former judge and mayor in the coastal town. An American citizen, he established a plastic manufacturing company in Moscow that he had been seeking to replicate in Jordan. He enlisted the help of local businessmen, who his family says later turned out to have defrauded him and extorted a significant amount of cash prior to framing Haivi for a crime.

After contracting COVID-19 behind bars, he was transferred to a local hospital where he has remained. His family reached out to the Foreign Ministry for assistance and the latter said it had been in touch with Jordanian authorities, demanding his safety.

While agreeing to release Hayavi, the judge ordered that he post bail of $1,128,364. According to the Ynet news site, his family managed to put together the large sum, but Hayavi has yet to be released.

Haivi’s friend Kobi Agmon told Ynet that the judge’s decision was due to the efforts of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his staff. He said Hayavi would be returned to Israel in a special medical convoy.

Hayavi’s son Lior told Ynet earlier this week that his father only has one functioning lung as a result of the serious disease and begged Israeli authorities to help free him so that he could be treated in Israel.

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