Barkan trial continues
Sunday, July 28, 2019, 12:42 On Wednesday, July 24, relatives of Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, Hy”d, who was murdered in the October 2018 Barkan attack, testified at a deliberation during the penalty phase of the Barkan terrorist’s brother’s trial. The brother has been convicted of failure to prevent possession of a weapon by his brother and of disrupting legal proceedings. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher submitted a letter from Iris Hajbi, the mother of Ziv, Hy”d, to the judges. Kim’s older sister, Shahar, testified for the first time. Shahar spoke about her emotional difficulties following the attack, and those of her children and her nephew, Kim’s son: “She (Kim) would be celebrating her thirtieth birthday soon, and instead we are marking eleven months since the incident. We did not imagine that we would be celebrating her thirtieth birthday like this.” Kim’s mother, Hava, testified next. She described the constant strain with which the family has been coping: “Our lives are over. I wouldn’t want any mother to be in my place. The longing will never end. I hope that they [the terrorist’s family] will be penalized to the full extent of the law, because we’re not the first family and won’t be the last [to suffer like this].” Kim’s father, Rafi, also testified against the terrorist’s brother. Rafi began by repeating his claims against the brother’s attorney, who is representing also the terrorist’s father and mother: “The defense attorney admitted last time that she is coordinating testimonies. I filed a complaint with the police about what has happened.” Rafi spoke about his daughter, the law studies she completed and how her family received the diploma in her stead, and added: “I suggest that the court think very hard about the penalty that they impose on the defendant, in order to prevent the murder of additional Jews merely for being Jewish.” Rafi described how the legal proceedings against the family of the terrorist create a practical deterrence factor: “I heard that a terrorist who was on his way to carry out an attack changed his mind because he had heard about what was happening here with this family and how much I have been fighting for them to be penalized to the full extent of the law. If that happens, then I have done my part, even if I save only one person, and only from injury. Therefore only a penalty which actually deters [similar attacks] will result in stopping the murders.” Honenu Attoney Chayim Bleicher submitted a letter from Iris Hajbi, the mother of Ziv, Hy”d, to the judges in which she wrote about Ziv: “I wanted to speak before the court, but I am not strong enough to do so. I am not capable of facing the relatives of the terrorist who knew about his malicious intent and did not stop him and also did not express any disgust at his terrible acts. Ziv was 35 years old when he was murdered. He was an exemplary father and a wonderful husband. He was very attached to his children and they were to him. He left behind three small children, a widow, parents and four siblings. The children are having difficulty returning to normal. They look for him and ask about him. “We demand that the court imprison the entire family for life. They were full participants in the murder and they should sit in prison until their death.” Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the families of the victims and assisting them with realizing their rights as crime victims, stated that, “The court ruled that the brother of the terrorist knew that his brother had a weapon and was training with it. Additionally, the brother knew that the terrorist had warned his family about a possible search by the IDF of the house. Furthermore, immediately after the attack the defendant helped conceal the video clips from the security cameras in the terrorist’s house, in order to prevent the detention of the terrorist who had fled and of others who had planned additional attacks.” Bleicher demanded that the prosecution appeal the verdict: “We are of the opinion that according to the findings of the court many years of active prison service should be imposed on the defendant. Likewise we will demand that the Military Advocate General appeal the verdict and demand that the brother of the terrorist be charged with failure to prevent the attack. Lawmakers in Yehuda and Shomron determined long ago that a reasonable suspicion of someone is enough to cause the obligation to turn someone into the security forces. We demand that the court use all means to create a deterrence factor against the environment of terror in order to penalize the terrorists and so that the next attack will be prevented.” Judge Major Rinat Levi Moskowitz of the Shomron Military Court in Salem ruled that the sentence will be handed down at a later date.