Teitel trial postponed; state studies psychiatric evaluation
Defendant seems subdued and quiet as he sits in the dock – unlike earlier court appearances.
By DAN IZENBERG
The Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday agreed to give the state until June 1 to study a psychiatric evaluation of alleged Jewish terrorist Jack Teitel before deciding whether or not to accept its conclusion that he is not fit to stand trial.The evaluation was prepared by psychiatrists at the Shaar Menashe mental hospital, where the suspected killer has been kept under observation since mid-February .According to the psychiatrists, Teitel is at this moment detached from reality and incapable of understanding the legal procedures going on around him. However, they also wrote that they could not determine whether or not the defendant was legally sane – that is, aware of what he was doing – when he perpetrated the crimes he has been charged with.The Florida-born, 37-year-old Teitel is accused of the murder of two Palestinians and the attempted murder of three other victims. He allegedly planted a bomb disguised as a Purim gift in front of the house of a messianic Jewish family in Ariel, in the West Bank, seriously wounding teenager Amiel Oritz. He is also accused of planting a pipe bomb at the home of left-wing historian Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell, lightly wounding him.Teitel was arrested on October 7, 2009 while putting up posterspraising an attack on the homo-lesbian youth center in Tel Aviv, inwhich two people were killed.The defendant, flanked by five prison warders, seemed subdued and quietas he sat in the dock – unlike earlier court appearances, when he gavebig smiles and flashed the victory sign with his fingers. AnEnglish-language translator sat beside him to explain the courtproceedings.Teitel’s attorney, Asher Ohayon, asked presiding judge Ze’ev Segal tosummon the psychiatrists who had examined his client to the hearing onJune 1. He was hoping to question them on their opinions of whetherTeitel was legally sane when he committed the alleged crimes.AdvertisementBut the judge refused. He told Ohayon that the first question to beaddressed is whether Teitel is fit to stand trial. If the answer is no,the second question will be irrelevant, for the time being at least,and until the psychiatrists determine that Teitel’s state of mind hasimproved sufficiently to enable him to stand trial.
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