Court to decide if Teitel to be tried

District psychiatrist says terror suspect "unfit to stand trial."

May 5, 2010 04:45
2 minute read.
Jack teitel

Jack teitel 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post)


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Israeli-American terror suspect Jack Teitel, accused of a murderous lone wolf campaign of violence that targeted Palestinians, left-wing Israelis, police and Christians and claimed the lives of two Palestinians, was reportedly found by the Jerusalem District psychiatrist on Tuesday to be unfit to stand trial.

The Justice Ministry confirmed that the prosecution had received the psychiatric evaluation, which was prepared by the Jerusalem District psychiatrist on Tuesday, ahead of a hearing at the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday. However, a spokesman said he could not reveal the contents of the evaluation.

One of Teitel’s lawyers, Michael Ironi, also told The Jerusalem Post that he could not comment on the report.

The court is due on Wednesday to decide whether or not Teitel is capable of standing trial.

On February 15, Teitel’s other lawyer, Asher Ohayon, informed the court that a psychiatrist at Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek Hospital had found Teitel to be psychotic.

In response, Judge Zvi Segal ordered “the district psychiatrist to examine the defendant and present an opinion to the court regarding the degree of his responsibility for the acts attributed to him and his ability to stand trial.”

The American-born Teitel, 37, from the Shvut Rahel settlement, 45 km. north of Jerusalem, went on trial on December 9, 2007.

He is accused of killing two Palestinians in 1997, during a trip to Israel, after smuggling a gun into the country. The victims were Samir Balbisi, a taxi driver from east Jerusalem, and Isa Musa’af, a West Bank shepherd.

Teitel left the country after he was briefly detained by police, but returned in 2001, after the outbreak of the second intifada. Over the next two years, he allegedly planted bombs in Abu Gosh and near a Palestinian home in the West Bank. Later, he turned to new targets. In 2006, he offered NIS 20,000 to anyone who attacked homosexuals during a scheduled gay parade in Jerusalem, according to the charges.

In 2008, he allegedly sent a bomb to a family of messianic Jews in Ariel disguised as a Purim gift package. The bomb exploded when Ami Oritz, the family’s teenage son, opened the package, severely wounding him.

Teitel is also charged with placing a pipe bomb outside the Jerusalem home of left-wing historian Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell in 2008. Sternhell was lightly wounded in the incident.

Teitel was apprehended on October 7, 2009, while putting up posters praising the attack on the homo-lesbian youth center in Tel Aviv, in which two people were killed. The police found a gun with a bullet in the barrel in his possession.

He was indicted on November 12, 2009.

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