Gay parade stabber indicted for murder, attempted murder
Prosecutors file charges against Yishai Schlissel, who stabbed teen Shira Banki to death and wounded six others
An ultra-Orthodox man who stabbed seven people at last month’s Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, leaving one teenage girl dead and six others injured, was charged with murder at the Jerusalem District Court Monday.
Prosecutors indicted Yishai Schlissel on one count of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder along with a slew of other related charges, after his attack left 16-year-old Shira Banki dead and number of other victims fighting for their lives.
A remand extension has been requested until Schlissel, who was recently found to be psychologically fit to stand trial, can be brought before the court.
According to the indictment, Schlissel — who was released from prison three weeks before the July 30 attack after serving 10 years for a near-identical crime at the 2005 Jerusalem gay pride parade — was vehemently opposed to the march because it “contradicted his understanding of the laws of the Torah.”
Schlissel made a brief statement, telling the court that “the pride parade must be canceled to elevate Shira Banki’s soul. If you care for her well-being, you must cease this blasphemy against God. The parades bring harsh decrees upon Israel.”
After planning the attack, Schlissel traveled to Jerusalem and attempted to join the procession armed with a kitchen knife, but was prevented from doing so by a number of female officers guarding the entrance, the indictment read.
He then managed to slip into the parade a few meters down the road after bypassing two more officers.
After a few moments walking among participants, Schlissel brandished the knife and began stabbing passersby indiscriminately, aiming at his victim’s upper bodies.
He managed to stab seven people, including Banki, before being intercepted by a police officer.
“In a premeditated act, the defendant deliberately killed Shira Banki in cold blood and attempted to kill [six others], without prior provocation and using a knife he had prepared in advance,” the indictment read.
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 last week’s hearing.
He has also refused to cooperate with the investigation and refuses to speak to authorities about the attacks, even after being shown videos and photos.
Stuart Winer contributed to this report.