The suspect
Photo: Gil Yohanan

'Starving mom' trial postponed

Mother accused of starting toddler son informed Jerusalem District Court of pending change in attorneys. Court grants new lawyer's continuance motion, but warns defense against legal antics

The haredi woman accused of starving her three-year-old son surprised the Jerusalem District Court Wednesday by replacing her attorney.


Attorney Deborah Atia, replacing attorneys David Halevy and Reuven Bar-Haim, asked the court for a continuance, saying the question of the woman's legal representation has yet to be resolved in full.


Justice Joseph Shapira, presiding, agreed to postpone the trial, set be begin next week, to October 18.


Notwithstanding, the court will resume hearing the aspects of the case pertaining to the women's visitation with her other children on Thursday.


Once the court was advised of change of counsel, Atia filed a motion for a 30-day continuance, to which the State objected.


The sides eventually compromised on a two-week deferral in the trail. "This trial will begin and end within an appropriate time period," said Shapira. "(Change of counsel) motions must be kept to a minimum. If this (continuance) will not suffice I'll have no choice but to appoint a public defender."


At that point in the hearing, Rabbi Avraham Froelich, who has been counseling the family from the case's beginning, asked the court for 45 additional days in order to finalize the question of legal counsel.


Justice Shapira adamantly refused, saying his court "will not allow such deferrals," and warning the woman that if she failed to appear before the court on October 18, a bench warrant for her arrest will be issued.


Following the hearing, Rabbi Froelich told the media that "attorneys David Halevy and Reuven Bar-Haim are excellent lawyers who have concluded their part in the case."


Halevy and Bar-Haim, however, told Ynet that as far as they knew, no final decision regarding legal counsel has been made, but if their client "wishes to seek different counsel, we wish her luck in future proceedings."


פרסום ראשון: 09.30.09, 12:33
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