A political party established by wife of prime ministerial assassin Yigal Amir should not be barred from running for Knesset, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit told the Central Elections Commission on Tuesday.
Amir assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin at a peace rally 24 years ago.
Mandelblit was responding to a petition by Labor MK Itzik Shmuli to ban Mishpat Tzedek (Fair Trial), which is headed by Larissa Trimbobler-Amir and calls for a retrial for the convicted killer and “all other innocent people unjustly incarcerated.”
Every party allowed to run receives taxpayer-funded radio and television advertising time, a situation Shmuli said is unacceptable for those linked to Amir. He accused the party of seeking “to get him released from prison and disseminate his poisonous hate.”
He asserted that its platform was in violation of article 7A of Basic Law: The Knesset, which disqualifies parties that support “armed struggle, by a hostile state or a terrorist organization, against the State of Israel.”
Mandelblit disagreed with Shmuli’s stance, telling the commission that Trimbobler-Amir had signed an affidavit stating that the party was not justifying the murder of Rabin but, rather, that it sought to secure Amir’s release through a retrial.
Amir, now 49, is serving a life sentence for the assassination of Rabin. He remains in solitary confinement, though he got married while in prison in 2004 after a protracted legal struggle.
The case against Amir was clear-cut: He was caught on video raising a gun to Rabin. He calmly confessed to the police, reenacted the crime for them and never recanted his testimony.
Still, fringe conspiracy theories have emerged positing a number of possibilities other than Amir being the assassin. The theories rely on some purportedly ambiguous facts surrounding the night of the murder: claims that the bullets were blanks, witnesses who say they didn’t see blood at the scene, and an abnormally long drive to a very nearby hospital.
Previous attempts to have Amir freed based on the conspiracy theories have fallen flat.
Both the court that convicted Amir and the subsequent Shamgar Commission established to investigate the chain of events leading up to the assassination rejected the conspiracy claims and concluded that Amir was guilty of murder.
Trimbobler-Amir, who has long campaigned to free her husband, said earlier this month that “only we can do it, not the politicians, they don’t care.”