Twin babies sleeping 390 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann)
The Justice Ministry released a statement on Tuesday that it would seek to
indict the father for manslaughter – but not the mother – in the “shaking twins”
affair that allegedly led to the death of one four-month-old baby and injuries
to another in January.
There is a ban on publishing names of the victims
or the parents under investigation.
The state said that after examining
the case, it has sufficient evidence that the father shook the twins and that
his actions led to the death of one of them.
The state said it will argue
that the death was caused unintentionally, but that the father did intentionally
commit acts of violence against the baby who died and those acts of violence did
cause the baby’s death – making an allegation of manslaughter
Other charges that the state plans to submit against the
father are abuse and assault of a minor or helpless person, including causing
severe physical harm.
It was unclear why the state had decided not to
indict the mother, who along with the father, was arrested and questioned by
police after the twins – a boy and a girl – were brought to a hospital with
injuries that suggested having been physically abused or at least violently
shaken. Still, the case against the mother has not been officially closed, so
the state could decide to indict her at a later date if new evidence
The father technically has the opportunity to head-off the
indictment at a hearing before Deputy Tel Aviv District Attorney Nava Schiller
sometime in the next 45 days.
However, it is rare for the state to back
down from filing an indictment based on the preindictment hearing once it has
announced an initial intention to indict.
At an earlier remand hearing, a
police representative had claimed that the police had “smoking gun” level
evidence against the parents.
Reacting to the announcement, the parents’
attorney Zion Amir on Tuesday told The Jerusalem Post: “We welcome the
prosecution’s decision not to press charges against the mother.
the father, we are hopeful that during the hearing process that is set to occur
within the upcoming month we will be able to prove that charges should also not
be brought against the father.”
The parents have previously claimed that
the baby who died suffered from a rare genetic disease.
started shortly after the twins were brought to Sheba Medical Center in Tel
Hashomer and hospitalized with bone fractures, when the National Council for the
Child called on police to investigate whether they were victims of “shaken baby”
The twins, who were four months old at the time, were rushed to
the hospital in January with internal injuries. At the time Prof. Gidi Porat,
director of Intensive Care at the hospital, said they did not rule out the
possibility that the babies suffered from a genetic disease.
syndrome is an intermediate condition between an accident and physical abuse of
The shaking of the head and neck can cause serious brain
damage, head fractures and broken ribs. Most parents, or other adults, do not
intend to harm infants, but rather seek to quiet them out of frustration over
their crying.Yaakov Lappin and Judy Siegel contributed to this report.