Police suspect that Amit Almog, who is accused of strangling his girlfriend Maya Vishniak to death last month in Ramat Gan, photographed the body and sent a photo and video of it to a friend.
Almog, 21, is suspected of murder, the attempted murder of his mother, and obstructing court proceedings. He has confessed to Vishniak’s murder and told investigators that voices told him to do it. The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Sunday extended his detention by eight more days.
During the hearing on extending Almog’s detention, the police representative said Almog had planned his girlfriend’s murder and could have halted his plans. Judge Ala Masarwa said Almong told his interrogators in detail when he had decided to kill Vishniak and when he had intended to do it.
Almog’s investigators believe he is exaggerating his behavior during questioning to create the impression that he is mentally unstable. He was not known to the mental health system before the murder. Last week his attorney said he “sang and danced during questioning.”
Tel Aviv District Court Judge Maayan Ben Ari, who extended Almog’s remand last week, said, “His version of events is not consistent and coherent, but changes from questioning to questioning, both with regard to his mental competence and with regard to his understanding of the nature of the event and the allegation.”
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After Almog was arrested, his lawyer asked that his client be allowed to commission his own psychological evaluation in addition to the one done by the state, to determine if he is competent to stand trial and remain confined. The court permitted the results of the first test to be submitted to the defense, with Almog’s responses redacted, even though the state had objected on grounds it would disrupt the investigation.
Almog confessed that he had strangled Vishniak in his mother’s home. The investigation showed that the mother had entered the apartment after the murder and sought to call police. In response, Almog went wild, tried to strangle her and stabbed her with a kitchen knife.