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A year after an elderly woman was severely beaten and robbed during a break-in at her home, she came to court yesterday to testify against two of her alleged assailants.

A third was convicted a few months ago and sentenced to 11 years in jail.

Ita Fogel, 69, told the Haifa District Court what happened that January night last year.

"They both beat me and one of them looked for money. They were planning on killing me," she said.

"They said they knew I had $30,000 in the house and they screamed at me, 'you're crazy, you old woman, you bitch. We'll kill you.' I told them I didn't have any money but they wanted to kill me," she added.

The defendants, Stefan Borisvicho, 20, and Liran Hubert, 25, are accused, along with Arik Shechter, 25, of breaking into Fogel's apartment on Wedgwood Avenue in Haifa's Carmel Center neighborhood, after first cutting off the flat's electricity.

According to the indictment, the three beat her, extinguished cigarettes on her, poured bleach on her and shocked her with an electric shocker.

Fogel was hospitalized in Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, unconscious and in serious condition. She regained consciousness only two weeks later.

During yesterday's hearing, one of the defendants' lawyers attempted to undermine Fogel's testimony by asking how she could still remember what happened. "Do you think I can forget torture like that?" Fogel shot back at the attorney.

Fogel now lives in an assisted living complex. Before the attack, she had lived independently.

Summoned to the stand

Borisvicho's lawyer, Ronen Haliva, said yesterday that the defense had wanted to spare Fogel the ordeal of delivering her long and difficult testimony, however the prosecutors would not make do with Fogel's testimony to the police and summoned her to the stand.

"Fogel did not identify my client at the time as the individual who was present during the incident.

"In court, as well, when she was asked to identify my client, she could not do so, although the robbery, according to her and the police, went on for about three hours, and the suspects did not have their faces covered," Haliva added.