Hit-and-run victim Lee Zeitouni 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy: Facebook)
France's first lady Carla Bruni has promised that justice will be served in the case of
an Israeli woman who was killed last September in a hit-and-run accident by two
The two men, who have been identified as Claude Isaac
Hayat and Eric Rubic, hit and instantly killed Pilates instructor Lee Zeitouni
as she crossed a Tel Aviv street on Friday September 16.
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The two men not
only fled the scene of the accident, but a few hours later boarded a plane and
flew to their native Paris. A few days later Hayat admitted to the accident in
an emotional interview on Israel’s Channel 10 news.
“I would like to
convey my condolences and share the sorrow of your family,” wrote Bruni, a
former actress and model who is married to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in
a personal letter to Lee Zeitouni’s mother, Kate.
The letter was in
response to correspondence sent by the Zeitouni family just over a month ago
asking for Bruni’s assistance in bringing the two men to justice.
very moved to read your letter and hear about what happened to your daughter on
the morning of September 16, 2011,” wrote Bruni in her letter, which was
presented to the Zeitouni family by France’s Ambassador to Israel, Christophe
Bruni continued: “I want to inform you that the Israel’s request
to investigate this matter has been received. A prosecutor has been appointed
and a judge has taken charge of the investigation. The French legal
system is doing its best without delay and at the same time is in constant
contact with the Israeli authorities.”
She also said that Israeli
investigators had recently visited Paris and the local French authorities had
expressed their commitment to coordinate all activities. In addition, the French
ambassador in Tel Aviv is keeping track of the joint activities and is touch
with the family.
At the end of the letter, Bruni repeated her sympathies
with the family’s tragedy and thanked Kate for acknowledging the recent birth of
her daughter Giulia.
Earlier this month, it was reported by Israel Radio
that the two suspects in the accident had requested to be tried in France rather
than facing charges in Israel.
According to that report, the maximum
prison sentence they would expect to receive in France is seven years, while in
Israel they could face up to 20 years in prison.