The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday sentenced a man to life in prison for
murder, 26 years after police discovered the victim’s body in a Tel Aviv
Ali Kara’in, 57, escaped to Jordan immediately after murdering
Amira Jabris in the Diplomat Hotel. Police believe he then passed through
several countries using fake identities, ending up in the US where in 2002 he
was arrested and sentenced to prison for fraud.
On his release in 2010,
Kara’in was extradited to Israel, where he was indicted for Jabris’s
Last month, the court ruled unanimously to convict Kara’in of
On Sunday, the panel of judges – Nurit Ahituv, Miriam Diskin and
Raanan Ben Yosef – sent Kara’in to prison for life, the mandatory sentence for
murder, and ordered him to pay Jabris’s family NIS 258,000 in
According to the indictment, Kara’in murdered Jabris on
January 1, 1986. Kara’in booked a double room in the Diplomat Hotel and spent
the night with Jabris. At some point that night, Kara’in strangled Jabris to
death, then fled the scene. The next morning, he crossed the Jordanian
For a court to convict a defendant of murder, the prosecution
must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant planned to kill his victim
While Kara’in admitted having a relationship with Jabris, he
denied murdering her.
He told the court that some time before the day she
died, they had agreed to break up, even though he agreed to meet her in the
hotel room. There, Kara’in said, Jabris told him she was pregnant and demanded
he marry her. The two then had sex, in the middle of which, Kara’in said, Jabris
jumped out of bed, shot at and attacked him. Kara’in claimed he then grabbed her
neck for no more than a minute, threw her to the bed and then went to
When he came out of the bathroom, Kara’in claimed, he saw that
Jabris was lying on the bed, dead.
Kara’in’s defense attorney, Adnan
Aladin, initially argued that under these circumstances, Kara’in must be
acquitted, since with no evidence of planning he could not be convicted of
murder, and as he was extradited from the US on a murder charge, legally he
could not be convicted of the lesser crime of manslaughter.
court rejected this argument.
In addition to forensic evidence collected
after the murder, the court also reviewed testimony from Jabris’s mother, Shula
Hafetz, who said that Jabris had complained that Kara’in was jealous,
occasionally violent, and refused to let her out in public or wear a
Kara’in’s defense claimed that he could not have murdered Jabris,
because he only held her neck for less than a minute, and therefore her death
must have been caused by another means, including that she suffocated after he
let go of her.
However, the court accepted testimony from a forensic
expert, who said that Jabris must have been suffocated until her death or until
she passed out.
The court also noted that Kara’in had given different
versions of events, which could not be blamed on memory loss as he recalled many
In passing sentence on Sunday, the judges said that
the high level of compensation imposed on Kara’in reflected the fact that he had
caused the victim’s death by exerting manual pressure on her neck for a long
time, watching her die, yet not letting her go.
“Only now, 26 years after
the murder will [Jabris’s] family be able to gain at least some compensation for
the loss they experienced,” the judges said.