Trial Over Murder of 4-year-old Rose Pizem Postponed Again

Defense attorney seeks release of girl's mother from custody, saying she has taken responsibility but did not commit murder.

The trial of the couple accused of the murder of 4-year-old Rose Pizem has been postponed again, after attorneys for the suspects informed the Petah Tikva District Court that the State Attorney's office had not yet given them all the investigative material.

Ronny Ron, Rose's grandfather, and her mother, Marie-Charlotte Renault, were indicted on September 23 for murdering the child, whose body was found on September 11 by divers dragging the Yarkon River. Ron confessed to the murder and led police to the spot in Tel Aviv where he said he tossed the body into the river.

The State Attorney's office responded that the delay had to do with the company transcribing the material, and that it would be given to the defense within two weeks.

The date by which the suspects must respond to the charges has now been postponed to January 6. The court extended Ron's custody to the end of the legal proceedings against him, with the agreement of his attorney. Renault's custody was extended to December 31.

Ron's lawyer, Gill Friedman, said, "from the beginning my client confessed, and took responsibility for some of his actions and responsibility for her death, but said he had not intended to kill her. The pathologist's report confirms his story. He is the one who caused her death - without Marie; he just had no intention of murder." Friedman also said that, "Ron told me he was very sorry about what happened. He feels great sorrow. He would do anything so that his wife and children could continue living their lives."

Marie-Charlotte Renault's attorney, Revital Swid, told the court she might like to make a pre-trial motion to release her client on the grounds that the indictment does not describe any crime committed by her. Swid also said the evidence against Renault so far showed no involvement by her in the murder and did not justify her remaining in custody. The court recommended Swid make her argument for release after she has received all the evidence.

"It is not clear why to this day we have not received all the investigative material. On Thursday more material was collected, from which it is clear that there is no evidence of the crime of murder," Swid said. "The prosecution is supposed to have an evidentiary basis for requesting that a defendant be held in custody through trial," she also said. She added that not only had Marie-Charlotte Renault not sought Rose's death, "she was surprised by the tragedy that befell little Rose."

Renault's mother, Isabel Deshayes, arrived Sunday from France and attended the hearing. She was carrying a box full of drawings her granddaughter had drawn, as well as newspaper clippings about the case. At the end of the heading, said Deshayes, she told her daughter she loved her. "They didn't let me kiss her, it was impossible. I felt a great deal of pain as well as a great deal of love. This is my daughter, my child, and I will always be there for her." Deshayes said she visits Rose's grave in France, although it is very far from her home, and asked reporters to get her daughter's name right: Marie-Charlotte Renault.