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German mom of LA arson suspect faces extradition

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The German mother of a serial arson suspect can be extradited from the United States to face numerous fraud charges, according to a judge’s ruling Thursday.

The U.S. attorney’s office says, however, that does not mean that Dorothee Burkhart will be immediately returned to Germany.

Dorothee Burkhart’s 24-year-old son, Harry Burkhart, is charged with 100 arson-related counts involving 49 fires in Hollywood, West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley over New Year’s weekend.

In his ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick denied an application by Harry Burkhart to intervene in his mother’s extradition as well as her motion to stay the proceeding.

Dorothee Burkhart contended she needed to help her son’s defense.

U.S. attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek said that though Eick’s ruling is final, Dorothee Burkhart can choose to file a habeus corpus petition, which would be tantamount to an appeal.

If the decision is not appealed, it will be forwarded to the Secretary of State, who will have 60 days to review the matter and decide whether she will be extradited to Germany.

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