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Jerusalem District Court to Issue Verdict Tuesday in El Aksa Arson Case

A Jerusalem court will hand down its verdict Tuesday in the trial of Michael Denis William Rohan, the 28-year-old Australian sheepherder who confessed to burning the El Aksa mosque in East Jerusalem last Aug. 21.

Rohan pleaded guilty but his defense counsel argued that he cannot be punished under Israeli law because he was insane at the time of the crime. The prosecution does not dispute Rohan’s mental condition but insists that he was aware that he was breaking the law when he set fire to the Islamic shrine and is therefore punishable.