The Netanya Magistrates’ Court on Sunday convicted the brother of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin of having threatened to assassinate Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
An indictment filed against Hagai Amir, brother of Yigal Amir, who is serving a 16-year sentence for his role in the assassination, states that on the October 31, 2004, Hagai told prison guards, “Are you afraid I will assassinate Sharon? I can make one phone call and have Sharon assassinated and blown up.”
Hagai made the threats after making phone calls to his sister and mother who did not answer.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges, telling the court that he was excited to speak to his family and made the comments to humor the guards, who misinterpreted his remarks.
Judge Rut Lorech turned down defense claims that prison guards are making the allegations against Hagai to settle personal accounts with him. Hagai told the court that the guards are personally motivated because he had pressed charges of mistreatment against one of them.
The Judge adopted the prosecution’s claim that Hagai’s remarks amount to threats against Sharon especially that the defendant was involved in the assassination of a former prime minister.
The Judge also dismissed defense claims that Hagai had been already punished for his expressions as he was banned from making phone calls for two weeks.
'Prison guard a little nuts'
At the end of the session Hagai told Ynet that the conviction does not surprise him because 90 percent of indictments in Israel lead to convictions. Asked what he thinks of prime minister Ariel Sharon’s ill health he said : “Thank God, every day.”
Lately Hagai requested his sentenced be reduced by the request was turned down.
Hagai’s mother, Geula, said she did not expect the court to rule in favor of her son, whom she said made his remarks as part of a humorous conversation with the prison guards.
She said her son meant, "Do you think it's possible to assassinate the prime minister in a phone call?”
She added that the guards are mentally unstable. “Hagai did not know that the guard he spoke to is a little nuts.”
She said her son has been convicted part of efforts to torpedo his plea to have his sentence reduced and be released early.