Suspect in Murder of Jerusalem Landlady: 'I Am Not Insane'

Avi Dar accused the police of having had him under surveillance and of harassment.

Avi Dar, 43, of Jerusalem, was indicted on Friday in the District Court there for the murder of his landlady, Tzipora Nehamo, 58, two weeks ago.

As Dar was brought into court for his remand hearing, he told the media: "I am very sorry about what happened." He stressed that he is not mentally unstable, and that he would like to be tried for his crime.

Dar was remanded until the completion of the legal proceedings, and the court ordered the district psychiatrist to present an evaluation of whether the accused is fit to stand trial.

"I am not insane," Dar said. "There are those who would like to make me out to be insane so this will not go to trial, because in a trial a great deal of dirt will emerge on the police," he said.

Dar accused the police of having had him under surveillance and of harassment.

According to the indictment, Dar had been fighting with Nehamo about the upkeep of the apartment in the city's Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. Last January, he contacted Nehamo through a lawyer, seeking reimbursement for maintenance costs. Several months later, he left the apartment, and Nehamo looked for a new tenant.

On the afternoon of August 18, Nehamo came to the apartment with a couple, prospective tenants. When they entered, Dar allegedly locked the door and confronted Nehamo while the couple looked around the place. At some point he is believed to have wielded a knife, grabbed Nehamo by the hair and dropped her to the floor and stabbed her in the shoulder. He also allegedly threatened the couple that he would kill anyone who dared interfere.

The couple managed to flee the apartment after Nehamo succeeded in passing them the key. After they left, Dar allegedly pressed Nehamo against the wall and killed her by slicing her face and stabbing her all over her body.

"By his actions the accused clearly caused the death of the victim... in cold blood, without previously being provoked," said the indictment.

Dar's attorney, Ariel Herman, appointed by the Public Defender's Office, told the court that his client did not intend to kill Nehamo. "At this stage Avi Dar is under arrest in conditions of evaluation and hospitalization to examine whether he was responsible for his actions at the time of the incident," Herman said.

"Dar would like to be tried. For this he is being examined by psychiatrists and is cooperating," the defense attorney added.