(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a previous acquittal by the Beersheba District Court, ruling to convict Meir Jano and Yisrael Ganon of the 2003 killing of 16-year-old Shaked Shalhov.
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In April of last year, following a trial lasting more than five years, the District Court acquitted Jano and Ganon of the murder, ruling that the testimony to police given by the key witness in the case, Yaron Sankar, was unreliable.
Following an appeal by state prosecutors, the Supreme Court Justices ruled that it was a mistake to discount Sankar's testimony. They ruled that Jano and Ganon should be arrested and held, pending sentencing.
The prosecution's lead witness Sankar, who was himself on trial at the
time on charges of murder, armed robbery and other crimes, told police
that Jano and Ganon had shot the girl, Shaked Shalhov, by mistake when
they were trying to assassinate a local Ashkelon criminal, Shalom
The victim was riding in a car driven by Domrani's chauffer, Yaniv
Revah, in July 2003. The killers thought that Domrani was sitting beside
Revah and opened fire, killing Shalhov by mistake.
After fingering Jano and Ganon, Sankar changed his mind and tried to
back out of testifying at the defendants' trial. When he was finally
placed on the witness stand, he refused to answer questions. The state
presented additional circumstantial evidence to back up Sankar's
original allegation, but the judges ruled it was not strong enough to
support a conviction without Sankar's testimony.
Dan Izenberg contributed to this report