Haggai Amir Gets More Time for Threatening Sharon

Haggai Amir, the brother of Yitzhak Rabin's assassin, was yesterday sentenced to an additional year in prison for making threats against Ariel Sharon when the latter was prime minister.

Amir, whose brother, Yigal, shot and killed Rabin in 1995, is serving a 16-year prison term for his part in the conspiracy to murder the former prime minister.

Haggai Amir was convicted for telling a warden at the Ashmoret Prison in October 2004 that he could make a phone call and see to it that Sharon was eliminated and blown up.

The remarks came at a time when many threats were being made against Sharon during the period leading up to the Gaza disengagement.

In his trial, Amir insisted the comments were made in jest and claimed the guards had misinterpreted his statements.

His lawyers asked for the charges to be withdrawn and for their client to do 120 hours of public service.

The state asked for the maximum sentence for making threats - a three-year custodial sentence, to run consecutive to his current prison term.

Judge Ruth Lorch of the Netanya Magistrate's Court explained her reasons for the additional, custodial sentence: "Only that type of punishment will send the message of no tolerance for statements containing threats and harm to an incumbent prime minister."

"After the terrible crime of the murder of a serving prime minister for ideological reason, no tolerance should be shown for statement made by the defendant, in consideration of the subject of the threat, its timing and the identity of the defendant, who is serving a long sentence for conspiring to murder the prime minister," Lorch wrote in her ruling.

Lorch also rejected the state's demand for the maximum sentence. Amir will serve six months of the new sentence concurrently to the 16-year sentence he is already serving, and was also given an eight-month suspended sentence.