It has been six years R”L since the murder of Rav Elazar Abuchatzera ZT”L, known as Baba Elazar by Asher Dahan, an Elad resident who told the court he acted as he didbecause Baba Baruch failed to resolve his marital problems.

The Beersheva District Court on Thursday 16 Elul, would not lift the murder conviction of Dahan. During the murder trial, the defense maintained Dahan was not responsible for his actions due to mental illness.

After the court examined the evidence in the case and examined the opinion of the psychiatric experts presented in the case, Dahan was convicted in 2014 of the offenses attributed to him and was responsible for his actions at the time of the murder. In response to this conviction, an appeal was filed with the Supreme Court on behalf of the Public Defender’s Office, which represented the defendant.

In a Supreme Court hearing in 2016, the court ordered the appointment of a team of psychiatric experts to assess the mental state of the defendant at the time of the offense and its consequences, with the identity of the team members determined by the Supreme Court.

The court ordered that all the relevant material be submitted to the members of the expert team, including: the full evidence in the case, the protocols (transcripts) of the hearings, and the opinion given on behalf of the defendant, which was to be submitted to the court. Both sides would be permitted to question the experts and ultimately, give a supplementary opinion regarding the defendant.

The expert team’s opinion was submitted to the District Court on January 22, 2017 and according to its conclusions, at the time of the offense, the defendant suffered from a psychotic state, and because of his psychotic condition, he had no real ability to refrain from committing the act of murder.

The representatives of the expert team discussed the new opinion. The defense sought to adopt the conclusions from the new opinion, while the State Attorney’s Office sought to reject the findings of the new opinion and leave the conviction intact.

Among other things, the court addressed the case. All these and more led the District Court to its present conclusion in the case, according to which the convicting verdict should be left intact.

In the summary of the final decision, it was determined that: “The defendant acted in accordance with a fundamentally distorted state, but in the circumstances that arose before us, it does not lead to the conclusion that the defendant was truly incapable of avoiding the act”.

The District Court’s supplementary ruling will be transferred to the Supreme Court for continuation of the appeal proceedings in the case.