Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade Stabber Charged With First-degree Murder, 6 Attempted Murders

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Yishai Schlissel during a court hearing in Jerusalem, August 11, 2015.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Ultra-Orthodox ex-convict Yishai Schlissel was indicted on Monday morning for the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki and the stabbing of six others during the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade last month.

Schlissel was charged with one count of premediated murder, six counts of attempted murder and with causing injuries under aggravated circumstances.

The Jerusalem District Prosecutor's Office has asked that Schlissel remain in custody until the end of the legal proceedings against him. The court extended his remand until Tuesday, when a hearing will be held. Schlissel has refused representation and said in the past he rejects the court's authority.

During the reading of the indictment Schlissel said that "whenever there is a gay pride parade [you should] stop the blasphemy against God. Stop the madness and all the people of Israel should repent."

Schlissel, a 39-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jew, was found fit to stand trial after undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. He was released from jail in June after serving 10 years in Ma'asiyahu prison for a similar stabbing attack at the 2005 Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, where he wounded three people.

The Jerusalem police admitted that they were informed of his release and that Schlissel was flagged as someone who was liable to act against members of the gay community. However, these intelligence assessments did not specifically refer to Schlissel targeting this year's parade.

A panel examining the performance of the police before and during the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, at which a released prisoner stabbed a teenager to death and wounded five others, is expected to recommend the removal of five senior officers from their operational posts.

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