Court Nixes Dueling Lawyers for Murder Suspect, 12

The Acre Magistrate Court experienced some confusion yesterday when two contending lawyers presented themselves as the defense attorneys in the case of a minor suspected of involvement in his uncle's murder.

The 12-year-old resident of Kabul, in the western Galilee, was brought to court to be remanded in custody in suspicion for his role in the killing.

Two attorneys presented themselves as his defense attorneys. One was sent by the boy's mother, who is also under arrest under suspicion of involvement in the slaying, and is her defense attorney. The other was an attorney sent by the boy's father, who is not on good terms with the mother, and is the brother of the dead man.

Magistrate Ziad Salah decided to disqualify both attorneys and assigned a defense attorney from the public defender's office.

Attorneys for the mother, Majed Hijazi and Shlomi Blumenfeld, appealed the decision at the Haifa District Court, but their appeal was rejected.

Hijazi told Haaretz last night he intends to appeal to the Supreme Court arguing that he has checked with the Israel Bar Association and there is no legal restriction preventing him and his partner from being involved in the defense of the minor and his mother at the same time.

The boy and his mother were arrested last Wednesday in suspicion of involvement in the murder of Ahad Hibi, 32.

During a fight between the Hibi and the mother, he was stabbed and died soon after.

The mother was remanded in custody until Wednesday and the boy's case will be heard today.