Otniel Elkayam; Photo credit: Honenu
April 28, 2019, 11:47 The Supreme Court rejected the appeal filed by the terrorist who carried out a motorcycle ramming attack in Jerusalem on October 19, 2016, which injured two citizens. In his appeal the terrorist requested that the penalty imposed on him be lightened. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “Thank G-d the appeal was rejected. The penalty should have been much more stringent to begin with. The presence of one of the injured victims contributed to the rejection of the appeal.” The Supreme Court rejected the appeal filed by the terrorist Morad Rajbi on the severity of the penalty imposed on him. Justices Amit, Mintz and Willner, who comprised the panel, decided to leave the penalty as it stood. The attack occurred on October 19, 2016, as Otniel Elkayam and a friend were walking near the Mount Zion Hotel in Jerusalem. Rajbi intentionally collided with them from behind, then attempted to stab them and then beat them with his helmet. Elkayam suffered injuries to his limbs, bruises to his face and required stitches in his head. The friend who was with him was also injured. Rajbi was convicted and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Elkayam, welcomed the decision: “Thank G-d the appeal filed by the terrorist was rejected. The penalty should have been much more stringent to begin with. In our experience, and from what became apparent in the courtroom, the participation of one of the injured victims in the proceedings contributed to the decision by the justices not to reduce the penalty.” Bleicher described the influence that a letter written by Elkayam had on the justices: “After the letter written by the injured party was submitted to the justices and they had thoroughly studied it, they asked the terrorist’s defense attorney difficult questions. The atmosphere changed from thinking that there were grounds to lighten the penalty imposed on the terrorist to acknowledging that the injury was severe, and that there were no grounds to be lenient, even slightly, with the terrorist.” At the deliberation at the Supreme Court on the appeal Elkayam submitted an emotional letter to the justices, requesting that they not accede to the appeal filed by the terrorist. At the same deliberation the terrorist’s attorney argued the appeal on the severity of the penalty, claimed that the complainants were not seriously injured and that the terrorist was in an ‘unstable emotional condition’.