A man suspected of killing his wife did so under aggravated circumstances and was particularly cruel, police told the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Eliran Malul is suspected of killing his spouse, 32-year-old Michal Sela, while their eight-month-old daughter was home. Malul, 34, is then thought to have attempted to take his own life.
The court extended Malul’s detention by 11 days with the agreement of his attorney, Idan Gamliel, who told media that he agreed because his client had yet to give testimony due to his medical condition.
Malul is suspected of aggravated murder, premeditated murder, and obstructing justice.
Police said they have a lot of evidence and documents that form the basis of their suspicions.
Malul is still receiving medical treatment in Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital and has so far not cooperated with investigators. While his attorney Gamliel said it is because Malul is under the influence of painkillers for his injuries, police say it is because he is maintaining his right to remain silent.
During the hearing, Gamliel passed a letter written by Malul’s relatives to the Sela family. Malul’s relatives have not been to visit him in the hospital, Hebrew media has reported.
Malul regained consciousness on Sunday, two days after police found Sela’s body in the couple’s home in the Jerusalem suburb of Motza early Friday morning with multiple stab wounds.
The couple’s baby was not harmed in the attack.
Malul collapsed Friday morning after handing the infant to neighbors. They told the Walla news site that he stumbled over to their home, bleeding, and mumbled, “Please help, my wife and I just tried to commit suicide,” before he passed out.
According to police, however, there is no evidence that it was a suicide pact. Police said at the time there was no record of prior domestic violence, and friends and family expressed profound shock at the incident.
Sela worked as a social worker with at-risk youth in Jerusalem and it is thought she met her husband through that work.
Sela’s death brings to 12 the number of women killed in Israel in 2019 by people known to them.
Last year, 25 women in Israel were murdered in domestic violence-related incidents, the highest number in years, prompting a string of protests and urgent calls for authorities to take action against the increasing incidence of violence against women in Israel. Many of those women filed police complaints prior to their deaths out of concern for their safety.