Gay parade stabber deemed fit to stand trial
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Gay parade stabber deemed fit to stand trial

Psychological tests on Yishai Schlissel open the way for murder charges over killing of teen Shira Banki

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Yishai Schlissel, center, an ultra-Orthodox Jew who stabbed a teenage girl to death at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, is seen at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court on August 5, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yishai Schlissel, center, an ultra-Orthodox Jew who stabbed a teenage girl to death at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, is seen at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court on August 5, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Jerusalem district psychiatrist determined that Yishai Schlissel is fit to stand trial Thursday, leading police to request a further extension of the remand of the suspected killer of a teenage girl in a stabbing attack at last month’s Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade that also wounded five others.

Schlissel was to be brought before the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, where police planned to ask for five days’ extension to his arrest ahead of filing an indictment for the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki and the attempted murder of his five other victims.

The psychiatric assessment, which Schlissel refused to cooperate with, was ordered by the court last week.

Schlissel’s initial evaluation, submitted to the court by the Israel Prison Service at the end of July, determined he was fit to stand trial. However, state psychiatrists argued that Schlissel’s noncompliance with mental health workers rendered the results of the initial observation inconclusive.

The court approved the request of state psychiatrists, and ruled that Schlissel be hospitalized for a 48-hour observation period for his re-evaluation.

Schlissel has repeatedly refused legal counsel, saying he does not recognize the legal standing of the court since it does not abide by Jewish law.

“You have no authority to judge me according to the laws of the Torah, so I’m not interested in representation,” Schlissel told the judge during Tuesday’s hearing.

Schlissel was released from prison three weeks before the July 30 attack after serving 10 years for perpetrating a near-identical crime at the gay pride parade in 2005, when he stabbed three people.

Shira Banki, the 16-year-old high school student stabbed by Schlissel during the parade, succumbed to her wounds on August 2.

Shira Banki. (Courtesy of the family)
Shira Banki. (Courtesy of the family)

Jerusalem police are under fire for failing to keep Schlissel away from the annual march. He had made a series of public statements indicating that he was planning an attack on the gay pride rally. He also distributed a handwritten anti-gay manifesto in which he called the march “shameful” and “blasphemous.”

On Sunday, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan rejected the recommendations made by an internal Israel Police panel, which advised punishing senior officers for failing to prevent the stabbing attack.

Erdan set up the panel in the wake of the attack.

The panel submitted its recommendations to Acting Police Commissioner Bentzi Sau, who submitted them together with his own recommendations to Erdan. Erdan ordered a more robust investigation before issuing conclusions.

The initial probe recommended reprimanding Jerusalem District Commander Moshe Edri and firing outright at least three senior police officers of chief superintendent rank or higher — equivalent in seniority to an army lieutenant colonel.

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