State to charge prominent lawyer for fatal accident next week

The state prosecution will file an indictment next Thursday against one of the country's most prominent lawyers, Avigdor Klagsbald, charging him with causing death through negligence, the Justice Ministry said on Thursday. Klagsbald was heading south on Derech Namir in northern Tel Aviv on April 11, when he crashed into a Fiat Punto in front of him, killing 23-year-old Yevgenia Vexler and her six-year-old son, Arthur. Charges of favoritism have been leveled at the police and the state prosecution for taking so long in indicting Klagsbald, who has represented some of the most powerful figures in Israel, including former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon. Vexler was a promising athlete who trained with the Maccabi Tel Aviv athletic club. She had immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine. Klagsbald's lawyer, Shimon Mizrahi, said he would meet next week with Eli Schwartz, the district prosecutor's representative to the police investigating team, and try to convince him to drop the charge of causing death by negligence against his client. But again, there have already been allegations of favoritism regarding the charge in the indictment, because Klagsbald was not charged with the more serious crime of manslaughter. According to press reports, police found that Klagsbald was not drunk when the accident occurred. However, suspicions have been raised that he was speaking on his cell phone at the time. Klagsbald apparently did not notice that the cars in front of him had slowed down or stopped because of a red light. He grazed one car, and then smashed into Vexler's vehicle from behind, sending her car careening into the one ahead of her.