Man convicted of 2009 murder of teen

Nir Haziza shot innocent bystander dead during assassination attempt.

311_gavel (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Central District Court in Petah Tikva on Monday convicted Nir Haziza of the 2009 shooting murder of Ramle youth Yiftah Mor Yosef.
A panel of three judges, Ofer Grosskopf, Menachem Finkelstein and Liora Brody unanimously convicted Haziza of Yosef’s murder and of the attempted murder of Einav Cohen, another Ramle man and Haziza’s intended target.
According to the indictment, the murders happened after Haziza had a financial dispute with a man named Morris Krispil. Haziza had believed that Cohen, as Krispil’s friend, was also responsible for the debt.
On August 5, 2009, Haziza and an unidentified accomplice drove to Ramle on a motorcycle, and fired at Cohen as he sat outside a kiosk.
As Cohen tried to escape, one of the bullets hit 16-yearold Yosef, an innocent bystander, who was sitting on a bench close by the kiosk.
The bullet hit Yosef in the head, causing severe injury. The teenager was rushed to hospital but died the following day.
Following the shooting, Haziza and his accomplice rode away from the scene, the indictment said.
The attack left Cohen critically injured and in a coma.
However, in September 2009, Cohen awoke and told police investigators that it was Haziza who had shot him.
Following his arrest, Haziza admitted the financial dispute but denied being present at the scene of the shooting and said he had no motive to shoot Cohen. In court, Haziza’s defense attorneys argued that police created a “developing version” of the shooting while Cohen was seriously ill.
Haziza’s defense team questioned whether Cohen could have identified the man who shot him.
However, the judges ruled that police investigators, headed by Chief Inspector Anat Katzav, had conducted an “intelligent and professional” investigation and that the defense had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Haziza was responsible for shooting Cohen and killing Yosef.
“The basis of the evidence against Haziza is that Cohen recognized him as the person who carried out the shootings, which we believe is completely reliable,” said Judge Ofer Grosskopf.
The judges also said that there was evidence that Haziza had planned to harm Cohen and noted that he had also avoided testifying about his whereabouts at the time of the murder. Haziza had also denied being acquainted with Cohen, the judges said.
Following Haziza’s conviction, his mother was escorted from the courtroom after shouting that the judges were corrupt.