An indictment was filed Monday against Liad Edri, 21, from Kiryat Shmona for the murder of Yoel Lhanghal, 18, last month.
According to the charge sheet, filed by prosecutors at Nazareth District Court in northern Israel, Lhanghal had traveled north from his home in Nof Hagalil on October 6 to visit a friend and fellow immigrant from India in Kiryat Shmona.
He attended a birthday party in the city with his girlfriend, where a brawl involving more than 20 teenage boys broke out.
At one point, Edri arrived with a knife and confronted Lhanghal, stabbing him in his abdomen and kicking him. According to the indictment, Edri, who was not invited to the birthday party, came after hearing from others that “Thai people were beating up children.”
Lhanghal was taken to Ziv Medical Center in Safed, where he succumbed to his wounds.
The indictment charges that Edri had tried to convince a teenager who was involved in the attack to hide the knife used to stab Lhanghal.
חמישי בערב קרית שמונה, לאחר מסיבת יום הולדת התפתחה קטטה המונית בה יואל להנגהל ,בחור בן 18 עולה חדש מהודו נרצח בדקירות סכין, אגרופים ובעיטות, במהלך הלילה עבר ניתוח שלאחריו נאלצו לקבוע את מותו
החשוד ברצח תקשיבו טוב: נער בן 15 ! pic.twitter.com/IEzWCit7Mx
— דוד אבוקסיס (@david_abekasis) October 7, 2022
According to the investigation, the brawl broke out between Lhanghal and his friends and other teenagers at the party who suspected the deceased was somehow hurting his girlfriend.
Police were dispatched to the scene but left shortly after. The brawl continued after they had left, the indictment said.
An internal police investigation faulted the conduct of the responding officers, one of whom is suspected of obstructing the course of justice. According to the Kan public broadcaster, the officer’s daughter had been in a relationship with the main suspect.
Northern District Police chief Shuki Tahauko recommended the removal of the Kiryat Shmona police chief, Nir Sasson, and Sasson’s deputy has received a reprimand in his permanent record.
Lhanghal had recently immigrated to Israel from India with his family. He was a member of the Bnei Menashe Jewish community from a remote area of northeastern India.
A social worker who had worked with Lhanghal through his absorption process, identified by Channel 12 as Shlomo, told the network that “he had acclimatized amazingly and was loved by all his friends.”
“He never got into arguments or into fights with anyone. He only went out to a party with a friend and was just injured in this unthinkable way. It’s difficult news for all of us,” he said.
Michael Horovitz contributed to this report.