May 5, 2010

May 5th, 2010 was a momentous day. We had another hearing in the Jack Teitel case. As you know he has been undergoing psychiatric testing for the past three months, and yesterday the defence came back to court with the suggestion of the district psychiatrist that Teitel is currently in a psychotic state and not fit to stand trial at this time. This is the third team of lawyers that Teitel has had and the reason they're doing this is because it is literally the only line of defence that they have, as Teitel has confessed to all his crimes and has done re-enactments of several of them as well. The psychiatric evaluation is not a decision - but the media have portrayed it as a decision and so most Israelis believe it is already a done deal, and that at this time Teitel will not stand trial. However, the judges have the power to either accept this evaluation or to reject it, and that decision will be made final on June 1, 2010. The State prosecutor asked for a postponement of the decision for a few weeks to look over the psychiatrist's evaluation in order to be able to respond effectively as the State representative. If the judges accept the evaluation, the trial will be "frozen "and Teitel will remain in a psychiatric hospital under treatment until he is deemed mentally stable enough to be tried, which is unacceptable to us, the victims, as this can take an undetermined amount of time.

The courtroom is always packed with reporters. Cameramen, who are not allowed into the courtroom are lined up outside. After the hearing we went out to "meet the press". We told the media and therefore the nation that to us this evaluation is strange and illogical - for 12 years Teitel was active, working out his attacks to the last detail , built complicated bombs and stored a hidden cache of illegal weapons, covered his tracks and outwitted the police and the Shin Bet for more than a decade, learned how to lie on the polygraph test and succeeded when brought in for questioning after murdering two Palestinians twelve years ago, started a family and had children, worked for Y'ad L'achim for five years, worked and even had a business to support his family,and now when he is finally arrested, he is deemed unfit to stand trial because of mental illness.

Here is an article from YNET, which is the most widely read Hebrew news website in Israel. They have an English site a well.

As first published in Ynet, professional opinion filed in court that alleged Jewish terrorist is not fit to stand trial. Hearing postponed so prosecution can review material. Teitel tells Ynet, 'I don't know if I'm sane. I don't recognize court's jurisdiction'

Aviad Glickman
Published: 05.05.10, 12:03 / Israel News

After escaping the law for 12 years, the Jewish terrorist is also escaping a court date in the meantime. A professional psychiatric opinion was submitted Wednesday to Jerusalem District Court ruling that Jack Teitel is not fit to stand trial. The judges agreed with the State Prosecution's request to delay the hearing so that they could study the material.

Teitel, accused of a string of terrorist attacks against Arab and Jewish civilians, told Ynet, "I don't know if I'm sane. I don't recognize the jurisdiction of this court. I feel good."

Judges Zvi Segal, Moshe Drori, and Moshe Hacohen postponed the hearing on the psychiatric evaluation performed in Sha'ar Menashe Hospital, which has been accredited by the district psychiatrist. They also ruled that the district psychiatrist must confirm the professional opinion submitted by the hospital.

During the hearing, Teitel's legal counsel, Attorney Asher Ohayon from the Public Defender's Office, said that he intends to send a psychiatrist of their own to the hospital to write a professional opinion for the defense.

In court, Judge Segal asked the State Prosecution whether there was any indication of any additional illness or previous hospitalization in Teitel's past. Representative of the State Prosecution, Sagi Ofir, said that the matter was raised during investigations, but that this apparently the first time Teitel has been to a psychiatrist.

Teitel's mother and relatives of his alleged victims - Samir Akram Balbisi and Amiel Ortiz - were present during the hearing. Amiel's father, David Ortiz, said, "Teitel is a very intelligent guy who carried out his crimes intelligently. It is a test for the judges and the State of Israel not to allow this murderer to get away."

The families' representative, Attorney Yossi Greiber said that he was encouraged by the postponement granted in order to study the psychiatric evaluation. "We are stunned by this blatant attempt by one of the most sophisticated criminals to operate in Israel in the past decade who was of sound enough mind to plan the terrorist attacks."

Greiber reiterated claims that Teitel conned the psychiatrist or that his mental state is a result of personal circumstances unrelated to the trial.

12 years of terror

The opinion is based on a month-long psychiatric observation of Teitel performed in Shaar Menashe Hospital in Jerualem. The psychiatrist in charge of the case ruled that Teitel is in a psychotic state. Another opinion will be provided.

In the meantime, Teitel will apparently continue to undergo in-patient hospital treatment. Periodically, a committee will deem whether his status has changed and whether he is fit to stand trial or not.

It should be noted that the psychiatric evaluation refers only to Teitel's current psychiatric condition and whether he is currently fit for trial. It does not address his mental state when he allegedly committed the crimes being ascribed to him. It is likely that should his mental state change, his trial will continue.

Last November, an indictment was filed against Teitel on fourteen counts of terrorism over the court of 12 years. In 1997, he allegedly murdered taxi driver, Samir Akram Balbisi in Jerusalem and shepherd Issa Jabrin near Sussia.

After returning to the US, his country of origin, he returned to Israel and tried to harm police officers and Palestinians. He later planted a bomb at the home of Prof. Ze'ev Sternhell, who was only lightly wounded in the incident. Teitel is also suspected of sending a booby-trapped Purim gift basket to a Messianic Jewish family living in Ariel that seriously wounded teenager Amiel Ortiz.

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