Rape crime scene
Photo: Moti Kimchi

Alleged Eritrean rapist freed accidentally

Recent Tel Aviv rape case sparks inquiry into negligent release of accused rapist deemed mentally unstable. Man rearrested

An Eritrean man accused of the violent assault and rape of a Tel Aviv woman was released from the Abarbanel Mental Health Center and neither the police nor the State Prosecutor's Office were informed.


Ynet leaned Tuesday that this mishap was discovered accidentally just one month after he was released, as a result of the rape of the elderly woman in south Tel Aviv.


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According to the indictment filed about six months ago, David Gabarzagbir, 21, from Eritrea, entered the home of the middle-aged woman at 3:30 am, hit her on the head with a brick, threatened her with a knife and tried raping her.


At the time, the police requested that Gabarzagbir be remanded pending the conclusion of the legal proceedings but during the October trial, proceedings against him were terminated after he was declared mentally unstable and admitted to the Abarbanel Mental Health Center for treatment.


זירת אונס הקשישה בדרום תל אביב (צילום: מוטי קמחי)

Elderly rape victim's home (Photo: Moti Kimchi)


The State Prosecutor's Office promised to follow the progress of his treatment but on November 26, a psychiatric committee determined that the accused should be released. Two days later, the State Prosecutor's Office filed a new indictment on the subject, but Gabarzagbir was already freed.


Just a month later, after the authorities completely ignored the chain of events and the accused was released, his name was raised as a possible suspect in the rape of the elderly lady from south Tel Aviv. A police investigation at the medical center unveiled to investigators that Gabarzagbir was released and then came the suspicion that he may have managed to attack again.


His photo was distributed amongst police officers from the Tel Aviv District, intelligence coordinators were instructed to locate him and he was caught in the Neve Sha'anan neighborhood after less than 24 hours.


After being interrogated, it was clear that he was not connected to the last rape incident. His trial was renewed and the State Prosecutor's Office asked again that he be remanded pending the conclusion of the legal proceedings.


During the proceedings, Tel Aviv District Prosecutor's Office Attorney Idit Antebi admitted to the mishap: "Even if the State Prosecutor's Office did not follow the procedures at Abarbanel, the hospital itself should have notified authorities of the release date. That didn't happen and we are tending to this matter."


The Tel Aviv District Prosecutor's Office responded saying that they didn't "receive a warning of his release from the psychiatric hospitalization order, but rather only a notification of his release during the night hours of the day on which he was already released. Upon receipt of the notification, the State Prosecutor's Office notified the police and requested that the accused be immediately remanded.


"Simultaneously, the State Prosecutor's Office tried receiving confirmation on the renewal of the proceedings as required by law. A day and a half later, the renewed indictment was filed along with a request that he be remanded pending the conclusion of the legal proceedings at the Tel Aviv District Court.


"We must stress that the State Prosecutor's Office acted professionally, quickly and efficiently in order to put the accused behind bars again."


The Health Ministry, liable for the Abarbanel Medical Center has not yet responded to this incident.



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פרסום ראשון: 01.01.13, 16:11
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