Today, Tuesday April 19th, Yishai Schlissel, who committed the horrific hate crime at the Jerusalem Pride March in July 2015, which lead to the death of Shira Banki, was convicted of murder and six counts of attempted murder.
During the ruling, the judges at the Jerusalem Court criticized the police for failing to secure the Jerusalem Pride March.
Tom Canning, from the Jerusalem Open House, the local LGBT center who produce the Pride March: “Nothing can heal the immense pain we still feel following this vicious attack and death of a innocent girl Shira Banki. Our community still carry’s the trauma and fear of violence from the events of that day. I hope that Schlissel will receive the maximum penalty, which will perhaps contribute to our healing process.
We are reminded during time of the importance of continued education and advocacy to create a city where all people feel welcome and safe, including LGBT people. We are already preparing for Jerusalem Pride March on July 21st, 2016, and proudly continue to promote tolerance and unconditional love in Israel.”
Noam Eyal, who was stabbed and injured by Schlissel, was present during the court proceedings and ruling: “I am relieved that he was convinced on all charges against him and hope that he will never be released from prison. I have no doubt that I will march again with the LGBT community in the Jerusalem Pride March this summer. I cannot say that I am without fear, but I believe that you need to fight for what you believe in and threats won’t deter us.”
From the Jerusalem Post: Prosecution lawyer Oshrat Shoham disputed this argument, noting that Schlissel has not given a detailed written denial to the indictment and that they would call witnesses showing that the fashion in which Schlissel attacked was violent and with intent to murder.
At the arraignment in September, Schlissel continued a position of refusing to recognize the court’s authority, stating “God, the creator of the world, did not give you authority to judge me, and so I am not interested in asking questions or responding to them.”
When the court asked him to stand – as is customary when addressing the court – he refused, and stated, “I am not interested in getting up.”
Despite Schlissel’s continued refusal to agree to have the Public Defender’s Office represent him, or to accept any legal representation, the court in September ordered the public defender present to continue to speak for him in court.
Schlissel has refused legal representation since he considers that it would be an acknowledgment of the validity of the court proceedings against him.