January 4, 2010 for The Associated Press
by Josh Lederman

JERUSALEM – An Israeli doctor fighting extradition to the United States on murder charges has committed suicide in a Jerusalem jail, Israeli prison officials said Tuesday.

The Prison Authority said Dr. Eugene Perchikov, who was accused of killing two women in New York, bled to death after cutting himself with a prison-issued razor blade while his cellmates slept on Sunday. A guard inspecting the cell 10 minutes earlier found nothing wrong.

Authority Spokesman Yaron Zamir said the facial razor was tiny, but that “he was a doctor, and he knew how to do it.” He said medics treated Perchikov for 20 to 30 minutes before declaring him dead. No foul play was suspected.

According to Israeli extradition papers, Perchikov, 61, was born in Russia, became a doctor and received an Israeli medical license after immigrating to Israel.

The Israeli documents said Perchikov, who also used the Hebrew name Eyal Shachar, frequently visited New York and was a permanent resident of the U.S.

The New York Daily News reported that U.S. authorities believe he poisoned two women to death, and collected $1 million in life insurance on one of the victims, 46-year-old Larysa Vasserman.

The Israeli Justice Ministry said the state attorney asked a Jerusalem court in December to extradite Perchikov following an American request, but the process was still in early stages.

An Israeli extradition petition listed 10 charges, including two counts of second-degree murder, insurance fraud and auto theft.