Israeli Man's Questioning for Not Wearing Mask Leads to Indictment in Ex-partner's Murder

28-year-old told police he clothes were bloody because he worked in a slaughterhouse

Noa Shpigel
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The suspected murderer of Najah Mansour at a court hearing in October 2020
The suspected murderer of Najah Mansour at a court hearing in October 2020Credit: Rami Shllush
Noa Shpigel

Prosecutors on Tuesday filed an indictment in Haifa District Court against a man who was initially stopped for defying coronavirus regulations by not wearing a mask, while his clothes were bloodied, for the murder last month of his former partner in her Haifa apartment.

Marwan Samari, 28, of Jadeideh-Makr, is also accused of aggravated theft; according to the indictment he stole 11,000 shekels ($3,292) and personal items from Najah Mansour’s apartment in the Kiryat Haim neighborhood in Haifa.

Samari and Mansour's relationship over the previous three years was unstable, the indictment states, and she had filed several complaints with police against him and his cousin, Nimr, with whom she had been romantically involved in the past year. The complaints filed involved theft of money, threats and damage to Mansour’s property. The indictment also noted that Nimr was convicted as a result of one of Mansour’s complaints and sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment.

The suspect allegedly came to Mansour’s apartment last month armed with a knife and stabbed her to death. In the request to detain Samari until the end of legal proceedings, which accompanied the charge sheet, it was written that police arrested Samari shortly after the killing because he wasn’t wearing a mask and his clothes were bloody. Under questioning he said his clothes were bloody because he worked in a slaughterhouse.

He denies all the allegations and claims that he had never been in a relationship with Mansour. But the request for detention states that Mansour had expressed her fears about Samari to her family.

Samari has a criminal record, including weapons charges and attempted theft. His attorney, Basil Falah, said that his client “argues that he was passing the area by chance and did not harm the deceased.”