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Court allows naming of alleged wife stabber, after outrage over gag order

Aviad Moshe identified as man accused of attempting to murder his spouse in front of their infant son

Shira Moshe, stabbed repeatedly and seriously wounded, allegedly by her husband Aviad, in an undated photo (Courtesy)
Shira Moshe, stabbed repeatedly and seriously wounded, allegedly by her husband Aviad, in an undated photo (Courtesy)

The Beersheba District Court on Tuesday permitted the naming of a man who allegedly repeatedly stabbed his wife earlier this month, causing her serious injuries, overturning a lower court ruling days earlier that granted the suspect anonymity to preserve his reputation, as the case continued to be investigated.

Aviad Moshe, 45, is accused of stabbing his wife, Shira, 20 times and hitting her with a rolling pin on the eve of the Rosh Hashanah holiday on September 18. The attack occurred in the couple’s home in the southern town of Mitzpe Ramon, in the presence of their two-year-old child.

Shira, 31, was hospitalized in serious condition and underwent emergency surgery at Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center.

There had been public outcry after the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court on Friday ruled that the suspect’s identity should remain hidden, with Judge George Amorai accepting his argument that he should be given the opportunity to remain anonymous.

“They may find surprising things. It’s the easiest thing to ruin a reputation and a 45-year career, give me this chance,” Moshe had asked the judge.

Shortly after the court ruling, Meretz party MK Merav Michaeli tweeted: “Make a note of this: Aviad Moshe is the man accused in the attempted murder of his wife, Shira. A reputation like that deserves many years in prison.”

Lawyers for Shira had expressed their outrage over the decision and in response to the ruling, a number of women’s groups and individuals published Moshe’s name and image online.

Bracha Barad of the feminist Kulan organization tweeted his name repeatedly, adding: “I saved you having to go onto Facebook to check.”

Hagit Pe’er, head of the Na’amat women’s advocacy group, had called on the police to appeal the judge’s ruling, saying it sent a dangerous message to victims of domestic violence.

Lily Ben Ami, the sister of Michal Sela who was killed by her husband last year, wrote: “The judge decided to accept the killer’s [sic] request and not the victim’s request! The judge insists on defending the reputation of a murder suspect who was caught with a rolling pin and a knife after stabbing his wife 20 times!”

Ben Ami named Moshe in her social media post.

A week and a half ago, police who arrived at the scene after neighbors reported hearing screams found Shira wounded on the floor of the couple’s house.

Moshe, an electrical engineer working in the defense industry, was arrested.

A witness told Channel 12 news that he had run to the couple’s home after hearing the screams and saw the husband covered in blood, still holding the knife.

“I pleaded with him. I said ‘please don’t kill her, please don’t kill her,’” the witness said.

According to a Facebook post by Shira’s brother last week, she suffered significant injuries to her face.

Channel 12 news reported Tuesday that a “giveback” crowdfunding page set up to raise NIS 320,000 ($92,685) to “restore Shira’s smile” by paying for reconstruction surgery has already raised over NIS 1 million ($289,643) in donations from 9,000 people.

Police said they had a file on the couple after a previous incident of domestic violence in 2019. Shira’s brother said she had filed a complaint that she later withdrew, after their respective families intervened and got them to reconcile.

“In retrospect, this was a huge mistake,” he said.

Police and social services organizations have reported a major rise in domestic violence complaints since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Recent months have seen several protests to demand government action to end violence against women.

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