Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

29 Sivan 5761 - June 20, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Avishai Raviv's Trial Postponed Again
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

For the second time within three months, the trial of General Sercurity Service agent provocateur Avishai Raviv was postponed for another four months -- less than 24 hours before it was to begin.

Five-and-a-half years after the assassination of the prime minister Yitzchak Rabin, Raviv's trial was set to open last week at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court after an earlier three-month postponement handed down in March.

The spring delay, which also came 24 hours before the trial was to be begin, resulted from the prosecution's decision to appeal the Magistrate's Court ruling allowing the defense to see much of the prosecution's trial documents, among them classified GSS documents -- a ruling which, like most others in this ultra-sensitive case, was reached behind closed doors.

With the state attorney's appeal to the Jerusalem District Court still pending, the Magistrate's Court said that starting the trial today would be "pointless," and acceded to the requests of both sides to put off the trial.

A longtime critic of the State's Attorney's Office for its handling of the affair, Likud MK Michael Eitan charged even before the latest postponement that the whole trial was the prosecution's "dirty games," meant to "hide the whole affair from the public.

"The prosecution and State's Attorney will do everything in their power to ensure that the Israeli public does not find out the truth behind this sordid affair," he charged, adding, "The whole trial, which was in itself forced on them, is one big joke."

MK Benny Elon said that it is hard to understand the reasons for this, but hinted that the GSS and the State Prosecution are working together against holding the trial.

"For instance," Elon told Arutz-7, "Raviv's lawyer, who asked for the latest postponement, is Eitan Peleg -- a long- time GSS agent who was the one to file suit against the journalist who first revealed Raviv's GSS codename."

Many feel that Raviv's pre-assassination actions make him liable for prosecution not only for not preventing Rabin's death, but also for encouraging it.

"I have nothing against Raviv," Elon said. "I am interested in his trial being held so that once and for all he will open his mouth and tell us what really happened in this story."

Arutz-7's Adir Zik recounts the history: "Attorney-General Elyakim Rubenstein announced that he would hand down the indictment in November '98. It was finally handed down only in April '99, with the first session scheduled for July. This date was pushed off until September, then was pushed off again, and the first session was on Oct 3, 1999. The next session was to take place over two months later, in December, but was pushed off until Feb 22, 2000."

Between then and now there was exactly one more session; another one was supposed to have been in February of this year, but that was pushed off until last week, at which time it was again postponed.

A former Kach activist who was recruited by the GSS as a paid informer as early as 1987, Raviv, 34, is charged with failing to notify the authorities of Yigal Amir's intention to assassinate Rabin.

He is also facing charges of conspiracy, incitement, and supporting a terrorist organization for statements he made at a staged televised swearing-in ceremony for the Eyal extremist youth group, which he formed without the knowledge or permission of his operators.

If convicted on all charges, Raviv could face up to 12 years in prison, legal experts say.

According to the indictment of April 1999, in 1995 Raviv had learned first- hand from Amir on several occasions that he was planning to kill Rabin, but never reported this vital information to his operators.

Two and a half months before the November 4 assassination, Raviv briefed his operators and, according to the indictment, stated that Amir was an extremist but that his plans of action were "not concrete," and that in his estimation they were aimed at Arabs.

At no time, the charge sheet continues, did Raviv tell his operators of Amir's repeated statements that he planned on killing the premier, and even told them that he had never heard Amir speak in favor of such a plan.


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