Hit-and-run victim Lee Zeitouni 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy: Facebook)
The Frenchman who admitted to killing Israeli woman Lee Zeitouni in a Tel Aviv
hitand- run accident and fled to France in September was arrested by French
police for driving 156 km/h, Israeli media reported Saturday
According to the reports, Claude Isaac Hayat was freed after
paying a fine for speeding.
The incident came days after Hayat and Eric
Rubic, who were both in the car that hit Zeitouni, admitted their guilt, but
refused to go on trial in Israel for fear they would suffer from “anti-French
Hayat’s lawyer, Joseph Cohen-Sabban, said Israelis had
complained about the French pushing up the price of apartments in Tel Aviv and
there were diplomatic tensions between Paris and Jerusalem over the Middle East
peace process that could influence the case.
Hayat had received death
threats by telephone from the boyfriend of the victim, and had gone into hiding,
Cohen- Sabban said.
The two men “are well aware of the seriousness of the
facts” and are at the disposal of the French courts to “answer for their
actions,” said Francoise Cotta, Rubic’s lawyer.
Cotta and Cohen-Sabban
said their clients would face the same penalty in France – 10 years in prison –
as in Israel, where, the two men, they said, would be in physical
Israeli legal sources said earlier this month that the two could
face up to 20 years in prison if tried in Israel.
Last week, France’s
first lady Carla Bruni sent a letter to Zeitouni’s mother, Kate, in which she
promised that justice would be served in the case.
“I want to inform you
that Israel’s request to investigate this matter has been received.
prosecutor has been appointed and a judge has taken charge of the
The French legal system is doing its best without delay
and at the same time is in constant contact with the Israeli authorities,” Bruni
wrote in response to correspondence sent by the Zeitouni family.Reuters
contributed to this report.