Court releases Mt. Herzl suspect to house arrest

Owner of design company hired to erect the stage, released to 7 day house arrest, cannot contact anyone for 30 days.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
April 23, 2012 14:47
1 minute read.
Lighting rig falls at Har Herzl

Lighting rig falls at Har Herzl 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court released four suspects involved in the fatal Mount Herzl lighting rig collapse last week to conditional house arrest on Monday.

Lt. Hila Bezaleli, 20, was killed and four others injured when a lighting fixture collapsed at a stage erected for upcoming Independence Day ceremonies.

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The four suspects – the owner of the company that built the lighting rig, Elad Lavie; the company engineer, Oren Varshavky; the security consultant, Yitzhak Zuker; and the director of the ceremony, Alex Sela – were released to seven days house arrest. They cannot contact anyone involved in the case for 30 days, as the police investigation is continuing.

All the suspects must also pay financial guarantees.

Lavie’s lawyer, Kobi Kamar, said his client still stood by his claim that the company had received approval for the structure. Kamar denied that the suspects were playing a game by shifting the blame around and implicating each other.

“There are a number of people [involved] and each of them contributed their part” to the disaster, he said.

The police did not request to extend the suspects’ remand.



Kamar said the majority of the investigation was complete and that the suspects did not need to stay in jail while it continued.

He added that the stage design company, Itzuv Bama, had not suffered a rush of contract cancellations and that the issue would not affect the company’s finances.

Despite the tragic event, the authorities have decided that the ceremonies at Mount Herzl will go ahead as scheduled.

Sigalit Bezaleli, Hila’s mother, has been invited to light a torch at the ceremony with Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, a family representative announced on Monday.

“The family welcomes the decision to have the ceremony continue as planned – this is what Hila would have wanted,” her family said in a statement.

Family friend Bar Sitton noted that Mount Herzl was like a “second home” to Hila Bezaleli, as her mother had worked for 16 years in the administration of the site. He added that it was tragically symbolic for Sigalit to be honored at the very place where her daughter lost her life and is buried.

Sitton said Sigalit Bezaleli was dedicating her torch to halting the “Israeli culture of carelessness.”

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