State Attorney rejects Har-Shefi retrial petition

Moshe Lador dismisses request to cancel conviction of Rabin assassin Yigal Amir's girlfriend, found guilty of falling to prevent incident.

Yigal Amir [file] (photo credit: AP)
Yigal Amir [file]
(photo credit: AP)
State Attorney Moshe Lador on Sunday rejected a request to cancel the conviction of Margalit Hart-Shefi, who was found guilty of failing to prevent the 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 Suzie Deem, spokeswoman of Matot Arim.
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Speaking on Kol Yisrael's law program, Din Udvarim, 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 for holding a new trial for Har-Shefi. Now, others have submitted a request on the very same matter which is based on fragments of sentences 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 Deem referred to statements by Carmi Gilon and Ami Ayalon. They quoted Gilon 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."
Nitzan 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 of the newspapers [the afternoon dailies, Yediot Ahronot and Ma'ariv] 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 Oct. 20. 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."
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."