One of those accused in the incident of the missionary
apartment in Meah Shearim was released from prison this past
Monday after completing two-thirds of his sentence. He was
released in the wake of the recommendation of a special
committee established by the commissioner of the Prison
Services, Amos Azani, thanks to the efforts of the heads of
the ZAKA organization in Jerusalem.
The youngster is the second culprit sentenced to prison in
the affair. He was accused of "robbery, the malicious causing
of damage, breaking into an apartment, and stealing property
and books." The judge, Ayala Procacia, sentenced him to six
active months in prison and a 12 month suspended sentence.
In the verdict, Justice Procacia made very sharp remarks
against the entire chareidi community, while ignoring the
character references and the clean past of the youth, as well
as his claim that he wasn't involved in the affair.
Even though the youth was only charged with robbery, and
wasn't found responsible for the other serious deeds
committed that night in the apartment of the missionaries,
the judge noted that, "His behavior is tinged by the stain of
rioting, which is identified with the character of the entire
incident, and which imputes it special severity."
Justice Procacia sentenced the minor to six months in prison,
even though his lawyer asked that the sentence be six months
and one day which legally entitles a prisoner to be released
at the end of two-thirds of his prison sentence. However the
judge refused the request and sentenced him to six months in
prison, which began four months ago.
Nonetheless he was released at the end of the four month
period at the decision of a special committee appointed by
the Commissioner of the Prison Services, Amos Azani after the
heads of the Jerusalem division of ZAKA met with him.
I spoke with him less than 24 hours after he came out. "I
must say that with regard to the facts in the case, they did
judge me correctly. On the other hand, for what I did and
admitted to, I spent too much time in jail. For a chareidi
boy to spend a half year in jail . . . is very hard. I did
not come out the same person that I went in.
"R' Aharon Kornblit is sitting for nothing, and I can say
that with full responsibility. . . . This is the fault of the
police who know that he did nothing and accuse him
On Sunday, an additional deliberation was held in respect to
R' Aharon Kornblit, a father of six who is also accused of
having participated in the burning of the missionary
apartment, and who is being detained in the prison in the
Russian Compound in Jerusalem until the end of the judicial
proceedings in his case. Yehoshua Weiss, who is also accused
of involvement in the affair, was brought to testify.
In court, Weiss restated his previous claim that his
testimony regarding Kornblit's role in the arson was coerced
from him with force, after police investigators exerted
physical and emotional pressures on him to testify that
Kornblit was one of the "organizers of the pogrom." On
Sunday, Weiss claimed in the regional court that under
pressure he had said what the police wanted to hear, and that
he totally retracts this testimony.
The court wasn't impressed by his statements, and the
deliberation was postponed to a later date. As a result,
Kornblit may continue to spend the next few weeks, including
leil haseder, in his prison cell in the Russian
Hopefully, extensive public efforts to free Aharon Kornblit
from prison, at least for first day of Pesach, will soon take
place. The police generally do not release prisoners detained
until the end of their trials. However, Yehoshua Weiss has
already begun to receive furloughs because he is considered a