Larissa Trimbobler emerged from Ayalon Prison Tuesday with a smile on her face, but refused to offer any comment to reporters following her long-awaited conjugal visit with her husband, Yigal Amir, the convicted assassin of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
After almost two years of petitioning for the right to consummate their marriage and allow Amir to father a child, the couple met Tuesday for eight-and-a-half hours in a special room in the prison, which is the regional center for such visits. The prison has five secure rooms in which couples are provided a double bed, a television and a private shower and bathroom. Amir is usually the sole resident of the prison's Ward 15, about 30 meters away.
Trimbobler arrived at the prison early Tuesday morning dressed in a black dress, sporting a bright turquoise hat and scarf and clutching a paper bag. While Trimbobler was unwilling to respond to reporters - or to divulge the bag's contents - the former teacher had previously expressed dissatisfaction that the date of the conjugal visit was made public.
While Trimbobler found reason to smile as she left the prison, left-wing activists were up in arms.
"This is a disgrace to Israeli democracy, which surrendered once again to Yigal Amir. Tuesday's visit constitutes an opening for Yigal Amir to claim that he is part of society, to begin to get vacations from the jail and eventually to be pardoned," said Yariv Oppenheimer, director of Peace Now. "If the goal is to discourage the next murderer, then we have dealt that goal a serious blow today."
Trimbobler, 42, has four children from a previous marriage that ended in divorce. Amir, however, is childless, as his marriage to Trimbobler - his first - took place after he was already behind bars. The High Court of Justice said it decided to permit the visit because Amir, like all prisoners, was entitled to certain basic rights, including the right to bring a child into the world.
In March, the Israel Prisons Service decided to permit conjugal visits, but the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) continued to oppose such a visit, saying they would constitute a security risk. Last week the agency reversed its decision, opening the door for Tuesday's visit.