(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Central District Court in Petah Tikva on Monday convicted Nir Haziza of the
2009 shooting murder of Ramle youth Yiftah Mor Yosef.
A panel of three
judges, Ofer Grosskopf, Menachem Finkelstein and Liora Brody unanimously
convicted Haziza of Yosef’s murder and of the attempted murder of Einav Cohen,
another Ramle man and Haziza’s intended target.
According to the
indictment, the murders happened after Haziza had a financial dispute with a man
named Morris Krispil. Haziza had believed that Cohen, as Krispil’s friend, was
also responsible for the debt.
On August 5, 2009, Haziza and an
unidentified accomplice drove to Ramle on a motorcycle, and fired at Cohen as he
sat outside a kiosk.
As Cohen tried to escape, one of the bullets hit
16-yearold Yosef, an innocent bystander, who was sitting on a bench close by the
The bullet hit Yosef in the head, causing severe injury. The
teenager was rushed to hospital but died the following day.
shooting, Haziza and his accomplice rode away from the scene, the indictment
The attack left Cohen critically injured and in a
However, in September 2009, Cohen awoke and told police
investigators that it was Haziza who had shot him.
Following his arrest,
Haziza admitted the financial dispute but denied being present at the scene of
the shooting and said he had no motive to shoot Cohen. In court, Haziza’s
defense attorneys argued that police created a “developing version” of the
shooting while Cohen was seriously ill.
Haziza’s defense team questioned
whether Cohen could have identified the man who shot him.
judges ruled that police investigators, headed by Chief Inspector Anat Katzav,
had conducted an “intelligent and professional” investigation and that the
defense had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Haziza was responsible for
shooting Cohen and killing Yosef.
“The basis of the evidence against
Haziza is that Cohen recognized him as the person who carried out the shootings,
which we believe is completely reliable,” said Judge Ofer Grosskopf.
judges also said that there was evidence that Haziza had planned to harm Cohen
and noted that he had also avoided testifying about his whereabouts at the time
of the murder. Haziza had also denied being acquainted with Cohen, the judges
Following Haziza’s conviction, his mother was escorted from the
courtroom after shouting that the judges were corrupt.