'Hanit Kikos murderer to be granted early release'

Suleiman Abeid, the Beduin man jailed for the 1993 rape and murder of Hanit Kikos is expected to granted an early release, Channel Two reported Sunday. Seventeen-year-old Kikos was last seen on June 10, 1993, trying to hitch a ride from her home town of Ofakim to nearby Beersheba, where she planned to attend her boyfriend's birthday party. Although Hanit's body wasn't found until June 1995, Abeid was arrested eight days after her disappearance. He was convicted of raping and murdering Hanit in November 1994 and sentenced to life imprisonment but has maintained his innocence since, despite his initial confessions. Hanit's parents also have doubts about Abeid's guilt. Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann will reportedly cut Abeid's sentence by a third in his upcoming appeal. The Justice Ministry had asked retired Supreme Court vice president Miriam Ben-Porat to examine the case. Ben-Porat maintained that Abeid was the murderer but said that his early release should be considered due to the public doubt about his guilt.