Suspect in Jerusalem Pride Parade Murder to Be Held for the Duration of Case

Court accepts prosecutors’ claim that Yishai Schlissel, who stabbed 7 participants in July parade, killing one, poses danger to the public.

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

The Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday ordered Yishai Schlissel, who in August was charged with the murder of Shira Banki and the attempted murder of six additional participants in the city’s gay pride parade on July 30, to remain in custody for the duration of his case.

As in his previous court appearances since his arrest, Schlissel refused to answer the judge’s questions, said he did not want a lawyer and denied the authority of the court.

“I am not interested in representation, God has not given you authority and therefore I am not interested in representation,” he told Judge Ram Winograd.

The prosecution introduced the evidence against Schlissel, including eyewitness testimony, video and Schlissel’s own statements to various people after his arrest.

Winograd wrote in his decision to remand Schlissel until the end of proceedings that there is prima facie evidence against him because of his prior statements, his procuring the knife that was allegedly used to stab the victims and the assaults themselves. All these show the defendant constitutes “a clear and concrete danger to the public,” Winograd wrote, adding that Schlissel was motivated by hatred for people who are different from him.

Suspect stabs a woman in the back with a knife during the July 30 Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem.Credit: AP

The seriousness of the charges in the indictment are reinforced by his prior criminal acts, the judge said. Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, served 10 years in prison for a similar stabbing attack at the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade in 2005. He was paroled just a few weeks before this year’s parade.

Together, all these facts paint a worrying picture of a person who is not deterred from taking the lives of others to advance his own views, while carrying out his actions with premeditated intent and planning, said the judge. The danger to the public from Schlissel is at the highest level possible, and any alternative to his being held in jail would endanger the public, said the judge.

At an earlier court hearing, Schlissel told the judge: “I do not accept this court’s authority. This court does not follow the rules of the holy Torah. ... This court is part of the mechanism of evil. I have no interest in cooperating at all. I do not recognize any of the regime’s institutions.”

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