Man Charged in Grunzweig Killing Goes on Trial

Yona Avrushmi went on trial here today, charged with throwing a hand grenade that killed Peace Now activist Emil Grunzweig during a demonstration outside the Prime Ministers Office in February, 1983.

The first witness for the State, Amos Schengaloff, a former police agent, testified that he had sold the grenade to Avrushmi shortly before the demonstration at which Grunzweig was killed. Schengaloff also admitted that he had received 500,000 Shekels from the police for his part in exposing the suspect.

Avrushmi denies that he threw the grenade. An Israeli soldier, David Shem-Tov, who was arrested as an accomplice, testified that he had delivered a number of Israel army issue hand grenades to Schengaloff. Shem-Tov was not accused of taking part in the attack.

Grunzweig’s murder was under investigation for a year before any suspect was charged. The police and security services came under frequent criticism for allegedly dragging their feet.

Interior Minister Yosef Burg, who is in charge of the police, and the police high command came under even stronger criticism for holding a press conference soon after Avrushmi was arrested. They were accused of trying the suspect in public even before he was formally charged and brought to court.

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