Tel Aviv Teen Retracts Confession, Says She Didn’t Kill Twin Sister

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Sobol and David at the remand hearing, February 19, 2016.
Sobol and David at the remand hearing, February 19, 2016.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

An 18-year-old woman who is suspected of murdering her twin sister in Tel Aviv on Thursday will remain on remand for a further eight days. Shiri Sobol and her boyfriend, Eran David, were arrested on Thursday evening for the murder of Hili Sobol.

Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court Judge Carmela Haft ordered Friday that Shiri Sobol be sent for a psychiatric evaluation. The lawyers for the two suspects said the couple had retracted their earlier confession, made Thursday, in which they had admitted to carrying out the murder.

The two are also suspected of obstructing the investigation. In her ruling, Haft wrote that “the evidence shows a reasonable suspicion that the female suspect committed a premeditated murder, subsequently destroying evidence and providing assistance after the crime. There are grounds for reasonable suspicion. There are concerns that releasing the suspect will obstruct the investigation and put the public at risk. The investigation is only at its early stages.”

The police believe the two suspects retracted their confession after consulting with their lawyers. The evidence found at the scene was sent to a crime lab. It will only be possible to determine if both suspects were involved in the murder when the forensic results come back.

“I would say that at this point it appears each one of them played a different role. But so far we have to view their actions as one unit,” Haft wrote in her ruling.

Hili Sobol’s body was found on Thursday morning at the entrance to her apartment building, in an alley in the Nahalat Yitzhak neighborhood of east Tel Aviv. Shiri initially told investigators she had found her sister’s body lying on the floor in the stairwell. Shiri Sobol said Hili had received a call from an unknown man, who had also called her the previous day. He apparently had asked her to come outside.

Subsequent evidence raised suspicions that the sister and her partner were involved in the crime. Among the findings was the knife used in the murder, as well other evidence pointing to the fact that the murder was committed inside the apartment.

In their withdrawn confession, the two suspects had said a fierce argument had broken out between the sisters, after which David took the knife and killed Hili Sobol. Immediately after that, Shiri helped him hide the knife and some bloodstained clothes. They said they had coordinated their story before the police arrived. Shiri hid her partner in one of the apartment’s rooms and drew policemen into another room in order to question her. Their lawyers later said the two did not confess and deny any involvement in the murder.

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