Slain Lawyer's Mother Cries Foul Over Murderer's Skullcap

The mother of slain attorney Anat Pliner lashed out at the confessed killer of her daughter yesterday when she saw the 17-year-old wearing a skullcap. The confrontation took place as deliberations began in Tel Aviv District Court.

The court hearing the case ruled that it will allow three members of Pliner's family to be present in the courtroom during the trial.

"All of a sudden he puts on a skullcap," screamed Tehiya Aharoni. "All of a sudden he is religious. Does everyone who commits murder become religious? Murderer! [You killed] a woman with two small children!"

As the defendant left the courtroom, Aharoni continued yelling at him: "Murderer! Take off the skullcap, don't disgrace the religion! He was without a skullcap when he went to murder her, he didn't wear a mask when he killed her. All of a sudden he is made out to be crazy, religious, whatever."

The youth reiterated his regret for what he did. "I'm sorry, I don't know what happened there," he said upon arriving in court.

When told that the defendant requested the family's forgiveness, Aharoni replied: "What forgiveness? Can he bring back my daughter? Can he turn someone into the mother of two twins? Can he make someone accompany the little girl to her bat mitzvah? He himself said that he can kill someone again, so why is he now asking for forgiveness?"

On April 10, 2006, attorney Anat Pliner, 42, answered a nighttime knock at the door of her home in Ramat Hasharon, a suburb of Tel Aviv. When Pliner opened the door, the perpetrator stabbed her in the stomach. She collapsed and later died en route to the hospital.

The high school student on trial confessed to the killing last month, and has reenacted the murder in the presence of police. Also, a DNA sample that was found on the murder scene matches the suspect's DNA.

The ruling to allow the victim's family in the courtroom was made even though the hearings are taking place behind closed doors, as is mandated by law in cases where the defendant is a juvenile.