18-year-old Charged With Killing Man Just for Being an Arab

Vitaly Sayenko indicted in the Nazareth District Court over the murder of Samah Karuwani three weeks ago.

Eighteen-year-old Vitaly Sayenko was indicted in the Nazareth District Court Thursday over the murder of Samah Karuwani three weeks ago.

The prosecution alleges that Sayenko, of Upper Nazareth, decided to kill Karuwani purely because Karuwani was an Arab.

According to the charges, Sayenko accused Karuwani of attempting to break into his apartment after hearing Karuwani walking in the stairwell. Sayenko then chased Karuwani after the latter attempted to explain to him that he was there to visit close relatives, but Karuwani managed to escape.

The accused returned to his apartment, grabbed a knife and took the elevator down to the entrance to the building with the intention of finding Karuwani and murdering him.

Sayenko caught up with Karuwani after the latter had tried to no avail to stop a passing car in order to escape, the indictment says. At first Sayenko asked Karuwani why he was so afraid and even handed him a cigarette, before taking the knife out of his pants and striking Karuwani to the head and face with the knife's handle.

According to the prosecution, Karuwani, in shock and badly beaten, ran in the direction of the building and entered the elevator. Sayenko ran after him and pressed the button to halt the elevator and bring it back to the ground floor. When the elevator doors opened, Sayenko allegedly ignored Karawani's pleas, raised the knife and stabbed him in the heart.

After killing Karuwani, Sayenko threw the knife into the elevator shaft, returned to his apartment, took off his blood-soaked clothes and washed the rest of the blood off his body, the prosecution alleges.