Twin brothers Naor and Adi Sodmi, 24, suspected of choking seven-year-old Leon Kalnatarov in their home last week in Bnei Ayish, near Gedera, will be sent to a Southern District psychiatrist in the coming days to undergo an evaluation that will determine whether they are fit to stand trial, the Kiryat Gat Magistrate's Court ruled on Thursday.
The twins were remanded for eight additional days by Judge Yisrael Pablo-Axleford.
During the remand hearing, the judge accepted a request by the twins' defense attorney for his clients to undergo the examination.
"Their mental state is not a simple affair, and it is only getting worse since they are being held in solitary confinement, even if it is for their own safety," the attorney, Yaron Forer, said.
The police representative to court, Itzik Haliwa, said a psychiatric examination of the twins was carried out at Ashkelon's Barzilai Medical Center on the day of their arrest last Friday, but the judge said the evaluation was insufficient to determine their mental state.
"I don't understand why the police object to the evaluation," Forer said.
After consulting with prosecutors, police reiterated their objection, but were overruled by the judge.
Police also added the suspicion of indecent acts against minors to the existing suspicion of murder during the court session, triggering a furious response by Forer.
Police would not say whether the alleged indecent acts were linked to the complaint filed against the twins shortly before the alleged murder, alleging three separate acts of indecent exposure in front of minors by the twins.
A media ban on new developments in the murder investigation has been in force since Wednesday.
Forer slammed police for failing to question the brothers over the alleged indecent acts.
"Did you question the suspects over the suspicion of indecent acts?" Forer asked Haliwa.
"Yes," Haliwa replied.
"I say you did not question them," Forer retorted.
Pablo-Axleford later said that police did not in fact question the suspects over the earlier suspicions, and called on them to do so before the next arraignment hearing.
Police are unable to directly question the twins, since they are considered to be mentally challenged, and must therefore be questioned by a Social Services investigator who then passes on their answers to police.
Forer also claimed his clients were subjected to threats and violence by police officers, and demanded that a letter he composed detailing the allegations be forwarded to the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Department. Pablo-Axleford approved Forer's request.
The police representative said in response that the brothers resisted arrest, prompting officers to use force, and denied any misconduct by police.
Forer expressed surprise over the amount of time it was taking for coroners to complete a final report on the autopsy of the victim's body, which was carried out at the L. Greenberg Medical Institute for Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir.
"We are in daily contact with the institute in an effort to speed things up," Haliwa told the court.
Pablo-Axleford said it would take approximately three more days for the autopsy report to be concluded.
The judge received two confidential police reports detailing the progress of the investigation, and praised the Lachish police sub-district for a "serious investigation."
"Many have been questioned, and the delays in the investigation are caused by the fact that other investigation teams are involved that are not under police control," the judge said.
He added that the "reasonable suspicions" against the twins which he saw during last week's initial remand hearing had become more concrete.