'Karp autopsy won't help suspects'

Police say cause of death to play significant role in trial; victim of TA beach beating laid to rest.

crime scene police murder holon 248 88 (photo credit: Israel Police)
crime scene police murder holon 248 88
(photo credit: Israel Police)
An autopsy conducted on the body of Leonard Karp, the man allegedly brutally killed by a gang of intoxicated youths on the Tel Baruch Beach on Friday night, will "not help" the suspects being held in connection with the slaying, a Tel Aviv police source told The Jerusalem Post. Defense attorneys had sent a representative to observe Karp's autopsy at the L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir on Sunday, after a Tel Aviv court approved their request to monitor the procedure. The official cause of death that will appear in the autopsy report is set to play a significant role in the suspects' trial. Defense lawyers wanted to check whether the autopsy's conclusion could suggest that Karp had not been directly killed by the actions of their clients, by verifying whether he had been beaten to death or drowned. But a Tel Aviv police source said the examination "will not help the suspects," implying that the postmortem results showed that Karp died as a direct result of the beating. Soon after the autopsy, Karp was buried at a Petah Tikva cemetery. One of his daughters described him as a "man of peace who worked his entire life for us." "You didn't think of yourself for a moment," she said at the funeral. "It's so difficult to accept that you will see us no more." The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court extended the remand of eight young Arab men from Jaljulya suspected of carrying out the killing, and two young Jewish women from Kfar Saba and Petah Tikva, who are suspected of fleeing the scene and, in the case of the 19-year-old female soldier from Kfar Saba, of abetting the attack. The remand of a 17-year-old boy from Jaljulya, who allegedly helped spark a confrontation that led to the attack, was extended by five days. The remand of an additional six suspects from Jaljulya was extended, some by 10 and some by four days. An eighth suspect had his remand extended by a day. Police successfully appealed at the Tel Aviv District Court against a decision to release the 19-year-old soldier from custody, and she will remain behind bars for three more days. The 17-year-old girl from Petah Tikva will be released to house arrest, the court ruled. The parents of the 19-year-old soldier told the Arabic-language Panet newspaper before their daughter's hearing that she was "unstable, hasty and irresponsible." Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu discussed the incident on Army Radio on Sunday. "This is shocking," he said. "A man leaves his home with his wife and daughter and his life is ended by some violent and dark thuggery. As soon as I heard about what happened, I telephoned [Public Security Minister Yitzhak] Aharonovitch. He told me about the investigation, which has since made progress, and I think that the police acted quickly here. "That's good, but we agreed between us, in light of this shocking event and others as well, to expedite the plan to bolster municipal policing and the local police, because the ability to perpetrate these crimes against Israeli citizens will drop dramatically if more police are deployed on the streets... and if we can learn from overseas how to reduce crime," the prime minister said. He was referring to a proposal to decentralize police services by giving local authorities jurisdiction over neighborhood policing. Netanyahu said it was the government's duty to provide security for Israeli citizens, "not only against terrorists, but also against the domestic terrorism of crime." According to Panet reporter Hasan Shalan, the Israeli Arab media has been trying to report the story objectively. "It's a killing, something very dangerous and worthy of police attention," he told the Post. "There are suspicions and suspects, but no one is being accused unfairly and only the facts are being told." He said there was "no intention of criticizing Israel or creating a conspiracy theory," said Shalan. A family friend of the Jaljulya suspects told the Post on Sunday he did not believe the suspects were guilty, because crime was not in their nature. "I slept over with the family last weekend, and I know them well," said 24-year-old Muhammad Badran. "They have a good name in the village, and everyone loves them. They are going to university and they aren't criminals." Badran believes the young men had no intention to break the law at the beach where the killing took place, and that they were only there to relax. "There's nothing to do in the area, so they go out of the village to clubs and to the beach where they can drink, let off steam. "That's nothing criminal, and crime is not in their character," Badran said. Attorney Eitan Erez, deputy chairman of the Israel Bar Association, said on Sunday that the Public Defender's Office needed to undergo a thorough examination. He spoke after he learned that seven of the 10 suspects in the Karp killing were being represented by attorneys from the office. "This is an organization that was established 14 years ago and is funded entirely from the state budget," Erez told Israel Radio. "Automatically, almost without examination, every suspect and every defendant receives free legal representation at the state's expense. This is a scandal." Prof. Kenneth Mann, the founder of the Public Defender's Office and the first public defender, told the Post that the office does examine the financial resources of those who seek its counsel, except for a small category of cases involving serious charges such as murder. In these cases, the court may not conduct a trial unless the defendant is represented, because of the gravity of the potential punishment. If the suspect or defendant does not hire a lawyer, he will be represented by the public defender. Mann added that because of the high quality of the attorneys in the Public Defender's Office, many defendants preferred to be represented by it. On the other hand, there is a serious lack of resources among large portions of the population who cannot afford to pay for a private lawyer. The fact that someone owns a car, which is a necessity today, does not mean he can afford to pay such costs, he said. Dan Izenberg, Alex Sorin and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.