French court delays hit-and-run trial after lawyer attacked

November 27, 2014 22:04

PARIS - The trial of two French nationals who hit and killed an Israeli woman while driving an SUV in Tel Aviv in 2011 and then fled to France to avoid prosecution was suspended on Thursday after one of their lawyers was attacked in the court's toilets.

The death of Lee Zeitouni, 25, who was crossing a street in a pedestrian zone in September 2011 when she was hit by the speeding SUV, has enflamed public opinion in Israel.

The driver, Eric Robic, 40, who had left a nightclub just before the incident, is being tried on charges of aggravated involuntary homicide and non-assistance to a person in need. "I was a coward," Robic told the court.

The passenger, Claude Khayat, 35, is charged with non-assistance to a person in need. He could be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison and a 75,000 euros fine.

The criminal trial was suspended until Wednesday after Khayat's lawyer, Régis Méliodon, was struck in the face in the court's toilets.

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