Court Finds Man Charged With Threatening Reporter, Sabotaging Haaretz Systems Unfit to Stand Trial

Judge at Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court orders Eyal Levy, 41, committed to psychiatric institution for three years ■ Lawyer: 'We hope it will improve his condition'

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The Haaretz building in Tel Aviv, 2019.
The Haaretz building in Tel Aviv, 2019.Credit: Tomer Applebaum

A judge at the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court ruled last week that Eyal Levy, who was accused of threatening a reporter and damaging property at the Haaretz offices, is unfit to stand trial due to his mental condition.

Judge Shlomit Ben Yitzhak ordered Levy, 41, to be admitted into a psychiatric institution for three years.

Levy's lawyer, Alon Ben Ziv from the Public Defender's Office, said that he had been "dealing with mental problems for years. We hope that the medical treatment will improve his condition."

Levy was arrested in October and charged with making threats, trespassing and intentional property damage. According to the indictment, he came to the Haaretz building and began following investigative reporter Gidi Weitz.

When Weitz turned to enter the building, Levy shouted at him, "What do you want from Bibi [Netanyahu]? What do you  have against Bibi? Do you have a car? Where is your car?" and then fled the area.

After the incident, Levy went to Haaretz's main electrical room and turned off several circuit breakers. Electrical and air conditioning systems stopped working in multiple parts of the building and servers lost power.

The shutdown disrupted the websites of Haaretz and sister publication TheMarker for more than three hours. Levy was arrested a few hours later, not far from the Haaretz building, after being caught on the building's security cameras.

In addition, because of the shutdown, an air conditioning system began leaking which caused flooding in some of the offices. Following the incident, Haaretz's management decided to increase security in the building.

Levy had a forced hospitalization order at the time of the incident and his family demanded that he receive psychiatric treatment.

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