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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Romania: Israeli teen suspected of murdering father with hammer

A 17-year-old Israeli boy, whose family moved to Romania several years ago, was arrested on suspicion of murdering his father, a former Border Guard officer, by bludgeoning him with a hammer. 

The incident took place a month ago, but was publicized only now.

A Romanian police investigation has revealed that recently the mother had approached the offices of the Jewish community in Bucharest and reported that her husband beat her eldest son. The community representative advised her to make a complaint with the police, but for an unknown reason, she did not.
The victim, a man in his 50s, was once a policeman in the Border Guard, but had been injured when a brick was thrown at him during the evacuation of an illegal outpost. He had been recognized as disabled, and subsequently left the service.

Following his injury, he moved his family to Bucharest. The parents had Romanian citizenship, and the father made a living by doing odd jobs, including as a tour guide.

At the end of April, a dispute developed between the father and son, when only two of them were in the apartment. The boy claims that during this argument, his father hit him again. The boy allegedly attacked his father with a hammer in the bedroom. The father escaped to the living room, and the son followed him and continued hitting him.

The father was critically injured and was taken to hospital, where he died four days later. Two weeks ago, his body was flown to Israel, and he was buried in Haifa.

The boy claimed during his interrogation that his father used to beat him regularly. 

His mother confirmed this to police. However, Romanian police found no signs of trauma on the boy, and they are still investigating whether the boy hit him due to the dispute in question, or had attacked him due to abuse in the past.

The boy remains incarcerated and the investigation continues. He is being represented by a local lawyer. The boy's mother and brother are still in Romania at this time.

Attorney Mordechai Tzivin, who specializes in cases of Israelis arrested abroad said, "This is a case with some mystery. There are many factual doubts impeding the police investigation." According to him, in Romania the claim that a parent abused a child is not acceptable in most cases.

This means that even if the son claims he attacked his father because his father abused him, he is likely to find himself accused of murder, and not manslaughter or a more minor offense. Tzivin said, however, that they are checking into the possibility that the boy is not fit to stand trial and is not responsible for his actions.

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