Twins to request psychiatric test

Twins, 24, arrested afte

Leon Kalantarov 248.88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
Leon Kalantarov 248.88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
The lawyer for two twin brothers from the town of Bnei Ayish who are in custody in connection with the death of a seven-year-old boy will ask the court Sunday to send his clients for a psychiatric evaluation. The twins, Naor and Adir Sodmi, both accused in the past of pedophilia, were arrested on Friday after the body of Leon Kalnatrov, who had gone missing on Thursday, was discovered in their home in the town south of Gedera. Kalnatrov's body was wrapped in a plastic sheet and hidden under the bed in a room, a police source told The Jerusalem Post. The Sodmis deny having anything to do with Kalnatrov's death, saying they were trying to help the boy, who they claim had suffered abuse at home. Kalnatrov had been missing for several hours, leading police to launch a search that saw officers go door to door in an attempt to track him down. The 24-year-old twins refused to respond to police requests to open the door to their parents' home, where they live, prompting officers to barge in and discover Kalnatrov's body. Large numbers of police descended on the home, and the boy's father reportedly arrived on the scene demanding to know what had happened to his son. He collapsed after realizing that his son had been killed. The police source said that despite widespread media reports that the twins were suspected of murder, investigators from the Lachish Police Central Unit were still waiting for the results of an autopsy. "We still don't have the cause of death. We very much need that and we are trying to obtain it as soon as possible," the source said. "What we know is that a body was found in the twins' home. The onus is on them to explain how this happened." Soon after the arrest, police came under criticism after it emerged that the twins were the subject of a complaint filed at a Kiryat Gat police station in recent weeks for allegedly publicly exposing themselves to children on three occasions. "The complaint did not refer to violence or sexual assault, but rather, public exposure in front of minors," the police source told the Post. The brothers had been questioned but not arrested following the complaint. Lachish Police attempted to rebuff criticisms that they had been negligent. "Some weeks ago, a complaint was filed against the brothers... The complaint did not refer to violence or physical contact between them and children, but exposure of their private parts to children, a severe act in and of itself," Lachish Police chief Asst.-Cmdr. Alon Levavi said on Friday. "The suspects were questioned [following the complaint]... and were released to their home. The investigation is still ongoing," Levavi added. A number of legal experts told media outlets over the weekend that the allegations of public exposure could have resulted in a restraining order, a psychiatric examination and close police supervision. On Friday, the brothers were brought to the Kiryat Gat Magistrate's Court, where a judge extended their custody by a week. The suspects' uncle appeared before the court and said, "They are mentally handicapped people who were not aware or did not understand what they did. They need supervision and treatment." The parents of the twins were questioned by police on suspicion of being aware of their pedophilic tendencies but failing to take action, before being released. "We put many questions to the parents. They have been released, but it's too soon to say that they are no longer suspects," the police source said. No apparent signs of sexual abuse were found on the victim's body, but police are waiting for conclusive results from the autopsy before declaring that he was not sexually assaulted prior to his death. Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen said in a statement that a multi-organizational effort was needed to allow for a rapid identification of violent threats to children, and vowed a speedy investigation in the Bnei Ayish case.