An accomplice in the murder of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin might be released early due to overcrowding in the state's prisons, pending a decision from the Israel Prison Service.
Hagai Amir – Yigal Amir's brother – is serving a 16.5-year prison term for conspiracy, weapon possession and intimidation. While he is scheduled to be released in six months, an order from IPS Commissioner Aharon Franco could set him free as early as November 8 along with other inmates whose sentences are nearly up.
- Tel Aviv: 'Price Tag' in Rabin memorial
The maximal number of prisoners that can be held in the state's facilities is determined by the Interior Ministry, and once the number of inmates exceeds the limit, releasing surplus convicts is at the commissioner's discretion.
In April 2006, Hagai Amir, 43, was sentenced to an additional year in prison after he was convicted of threatening to kill then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The convict and his brother, Yigal, who was sentenced to life in prison for Rabin's murder, have served most of their sentences in isolated confinement due to fears that other inmates might attempt to harm them.
'Amir dangerous to state security'
Moreover, Shin Bet and the IPS claimed that Hagai Amir poses danger to the state's security and might indoctrinate other prisoners. For this reason the IPS motioned the Petah Tikva Administrative Court over the weekend to keep him in isolation for an additional six months.
Hagai Amir, who is being held at Ayalon Prison, hasn't been cooperating with the IPS and has not taken part in its treatment programs. Unlike his brother, who was married in prison, he remains single.
On Thursday, a memorial for Rabin was vandalized, and the words "Free Yigal Amir" and "Price Tag" were spray-painted on it. A suspect in the case, Shvuel Schijveschuurder, was arrested shortly after.
Schijveschuurder's parents were murdered in a terror attack in Jerusalem in 2001, and the hostile act is believed to be a reprisal for the deal that is in the works between Israel and Hamas to release IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.
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