Lador rejects request to cancel Har-Shefi’s conviction
Petition is not the first, so there’s no reason for sensationalized reports, says Deputy State Attorney for Special Tasks Shai Nitzam.
By DAN IZENBERG
State Attorney Moshe Lador on Sunday rejected a request to cancel the 1998 conviction of Margalit Har-Shefi, who was found guilty of failing to prevent the 1995 assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and sentenced to nine months in jail.The request was submitted by Nohi Eyal, director-general of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel; Orit Struk, head of the Human Rights Organization for Judea and Samaria; Yehuda Eliyahu, head of Regavim and Susie Dym, spokeswoman for the nationalist grassroots organization Mattot Arim.RELATED:MKs, rabbis begin campaign to acquit Har-ShefiAnother Tack: Labor's last hopeSpeaking on Israel Radio’s legal affairs program, Din U’Dvarim, Deputy State Attorney for Special Tasks Shai Nitzan said, “What we had here was a recycling of an identical request that was sent to the attorney-general two years ago. The attorney-general [Menahem Mazuz] rejected the request outright and wrote that there was no reason to hold a new trial for Har-Shefi.Now, others have submitted a request on the very same matter which is based on sentence fragments of former heads of the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] which had been published many years before. The state attorney rejected the request.”In their request, Eyal, Struk, Eliyahu and Dym referred to statements by Carmi Gillon and Ami Ayalon. They quoted Gillon as saying, “Dror Adani knew some of Yigal Amir’s operational ideas, but Har-Shefi did not.”Ayalon was quoted as saying, “Har- Shefi did not know about Yigal Amir’s plans.”AdvertisementNitzan added that Mazuz had written, “These fragments of sentences do not in the slightest erode the full and detailed verdict handed down by three court echelons [i.e. the magistrate’s court, the district court and the Supreme Court].”Nitzan added that he could not understand why some newspapers [Yediot Aharonot and Ma’ariv – DI] had sensationalized the story.“There was no reason for such big headlines,” he said. “There was no news here.”Nitzan also revealed that the request had been submitted more than a month ago, but was only leaked to the papers on the weekend before the anniversary of Rabin’s assassination, which will be marked on Wednesday.He refused to speculate on the timing of the leak, but said, “Everyone will understand in his own way the motives for the timing and interpret it as he sees fit.”Those who submitted the request urged Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein (who handed it over to Lador) to cancel the conviction “before Yom Kippur, as a form of request for forgiveness from Margalit for the injustice she suffered and the opening of a new page, and before the anniversary of the killing of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.”Har-Shefi, 19 at the time of the assassination, was charged with knowing of Yigal Amir’s plans to kill Rabin but failing to inform police.After all the appeals, she served twothirds of her sentence in 2001, after then-president Moshe Katsav agreed to commute it.Rabbi Yaakov Medan of Alon Shvut, one of the heads of Har Etzion Yeshiva, who was part of the initiative to cancel Har-Shefi’s conviction, expressed dismay over what he called Lador’s “unjust decision."“This is not the first time we’ve requested this,” he said. “We have been asking it for the past 11 years.I’m disappointed by the Israeli justice system that continues to evade the facts and won’t deal with the case.”Jonah Mandel contributed to this report.