Hit-and-run Suspects Allegedly Smudged Fingerprints on Jeep Steering Wheel

Investigators from the Central Unit of the police who came to the jeep in which Shalom Yemini and Shai Simon, who are suspected of having run over and killed Meital Aharonson, and of having critically injured her friend Mali - were traveling realized very quickly that the two men who abandoned the vehicle knew exactly what to do: The fingerprints that should have been found on the steering wheel and within the deadly jeep had been completely smudged immediately after the accident, and not a single fingerprint could be taken. This emerged on Wednesday during Temini's arraignment in court in Tel Aviv.

Yemeni, who is suspected of having driven the jeep at the time of the hit-and-run, was arraigned in Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court for five days, at the end of which the police are slated to file a prosecutor's deposition in advance of the formulation of an indictment against Yemini, Shai Simon and the owner of the vehicle, Vic Lavie, for causing Aharonson's death.

At the deliberations yesterday Batya Meiri Yazdi, whose daughter Mali is hospitalized in critical condition, was present in the court for the first time, together with Mali's aunt. Throughout the court proceedings the two women sat in the arraignments courtroom and regarded Yemeni. It was clear that the situation was not easy for them.

At the end of the deliberations Yemeni whispered into the ear of his lawyer that he should try to prevent Mali's mother from talking to the media. The attorney did not stand a chance.

Surrounded by many reporters and finding it hard to stand on her feet, the weeping mother, said that "those people have destroyed two families. The person who murdered Meital and injured my daughter should rot in prison as long as he lives, and not receive support from all the people who have come here. We have no forgiveness and no absolution. They are all innocent now and don't remember anything. But to go home and hide he (Yemeni) knew very well.

Hilla Yazdi, Mali's aunt, added: "I don't know at all how and when Mali will come out the grave state she is in. But I do know that if these murderers get a light punishment, it will devastate her even more."

When asked whether she was not afraid of the suspects' families, the aunt said, "I am thinking only about Mali's suffering. Why should I be afraid of them - because they are called Ramat Amidar? Are they going to harm us? Will they hit and run? Why should I be afraid of anyone as a citizen of the state of Israel?"

In reply to questions from Yemeni's lawyers, Eli Cohen, Sahi Nudel and Guy Friedman, Central Unit investigator Danny Yoeli said that even though Shai Simon had given a full statement that defense attorneys say may incriminate Yemeni as the driver in the hit-and-run, no confrontation between the two had been arranged. Yoeli said the police have in their possession photographs, cellular records pinpointing his whereabouts, testimonies and other pieces of evidence that prove beyond doubt that Yemeni was driving the car at the time of the accident that killed Aharonson and gravely injured Yazdi.