Court charges Sofir with racial murder

Suspect allegedly stabbed Arab taxi driver Tayseer Karaki 24 times.

tayseer Karaki arab taxi driver 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
tayseer Karaki arab taxi driver 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Tel Aviv District Court indicted Julian Sofir Monday for the alleged murder of Arab taxi driver Tayseer Karaki. Sofir, 25, was charged with stabbing Karaki in the neck 24 times on nationalistic grounds. A request to remand Sofir until the end of legal proceedings was also filed Monday due to the racist remarks made by Sofir when he was arrested. "I didn't feel anything," he had said in a statement to police. "It was like slaughtering a beast." After much speculation concerning his mental state following seemingly irrational behavior during his first appearance in court, Sofir was deemed fit to stand trial after being sent for psychiatric examination. According to an account of the events leading to the May 14 murder, Sofir had gone to Jerusalem where he hired Karaki to drive him back to Tel Aviv. But instead of driving directly to Tel Aviv, they drove first to Netanya, where Sofir allegedly stopped at his brother's apartment. There, Sofir allegedly entered the apartment and picked up the knife that was used shortly later to commit the murder. When the two arrived in Tel Aviv, they entered Sofir's Rehov Yonah Hanavi residence, where Sofir stabbed the driver in the throat. It is believed that Sofir left Karaki, father of five, lying in a pool of blood and drove his taxi to Netanya, where he picked up Jonathan and brought him back to Tel Aviv. Not long afterwards, police had stopped the two on Rehov Allenby in Tel Aviv after they aroused suspicions by walking down the middle of a busy road. Police who were at the scene said a day later that the two seemed "a bit disconnected or high."