Prisons Service defends decision not to allow Bar Noar suspect furlough to attend brother's funeral
ByBen Hartman
11 July 2013 17:34
IPS denies Hagai Felician's request to attend funeral of brother who died in 9-story fall at construction site.
Bar Noar shooting suspect Hagai Felician

Hagai Felician 370. (photo credit:Ben Hartman)

The Prisons Service on Thursday defended its decision not to allow jailed Bar Noar murders suspect Hagai Felician to attend the funeral of his brother Or Felician on Wednesday night, saying there was not enough time to arrange the visit and that the security issues were too complex.

“There was very little time between when he [Hagai] was told [of his brother’s death] and when the funeral was held. We would have had to arrange security from the Prisons Service and the police,” Prisons Service spokeswoman Sivan Weitzman said.



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“We understand the situation and the pain of the family, but we have to ensure the public’s safety – we have no idea who would be at the funeral or who would be at the shiva,” she added.

Weitzman said she can’t remember an incident in recent years when a suspect indicted for murder was allowed to leave prison to attend a funeral. The Prisons Service prefers to deal with such family visits when they involve a prisoner that has already been convicted and for the visit to be taken as part of a regular furlough, she said.

Felician’s attorneys petitioned the court to allow Hagai to leave the Abu Kabir detention center to attend the funeral at the Yarkon Cemetery in Petah Tikva, but both the Prisons Service and Israel Police objected to the request, and it was rejected by the court. They did, however, allow Hagai to speak to his brother Yaakov by telephone Thursday night.

Hagai Felician’s attorney Shimshon Weiss told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that he and Felician’s other lawyers filed a request with the Prisons Service and the court on Thursday morning to allow him to attend the shiva at the family home in Bnei Brak, as well as the shloshim – or 30-day anniversary – of his brother’s death.

He added that Felician was only told of the tragedy at 8 p.m., several hours after the accident happened.

Fifteen-year-old Or Felician came to work with his father to clean windows on Wednesday morning, in order to earn a little extra money during the summer vacation. During a work break, he leaned against a railing and fell nine stories to his death.

Since mid-April, the Felician brothers have been at the center of a media storm, moving from one arrest or tragedy to another.

On Monday, Hagai was indicted for the murder of two people and wounding of 11 at the Bar Noar LGBT center in Tel Aviv on August 1, 2009, which police say was carried out to avenge the sexual assault of Hagai’s younger relative by a member of the LGBT community. The relative was also arrested in connection to the murder, but was later released. He could still faces charges for allegedly attempting to buy a pistol in order to attack a criminal rival.

The eldest Felician brother Yaakov was released to house arrest in late June after he was arrested for allegedly raping a female attorney earlier in June.

Yaakov, a known associate of the Avi Ruhan crime family, was released after he passed a lie detector test.

Back in 2009, the Felicians’ brother-in-law Ayal Salhov was murdered.

A former underworld figure, Salhov had become a police informant before his death.

That murder remains unsolved.
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