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
“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
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.
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
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.
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
Back in 2009, the Felicians’ brother-in-law Ayal Salhov
A former underworld figure, Salhov had become a police
informant before his death.
That murder remains unsolved.