NEW YORK (Dec. 19)
Expressing “outrage” and “revulsion” over strident attempts to influence his decision by both Jewish supporters of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane and Moslem backers of his accused killer, El Sayyid Nosair, New York State Supreme Court Judge A’vin Schlesinger revoked Nosair’s bail Tuesday.
Schlesinger said he reversed his earlier decision to release the Egyptian-born former city employee on $300,000 bail because of ample evidence that he might leave the jurisdiction, depart the country or kill himself if bail were posted.
There also was “a rather strong case” against the accused, the judge remarked. He promised an early trial.
Nosair, 35, is charged with the murder of Kahane, founder of the militant Jewish Defense League in New York and of the anti-Arab Kach movement in Israel, while he was addressing a Zionist meeting at a midtown Manhattan hotel on Nov. 5.
Nosair has pleaded not guilty.
Schlesinger, who is Jewish, set bail on Dec. 5 but suspended it temporarily so that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office could reargue.
Schlesinger came under intense fire from Jewish elements led by N.Y. State Assemblyman Dov Hikind and City Councilman Noach Dear, who represent heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
Hikind and Dear were among several hundred mostly Orthodox Jews who demonstrated against bail outside the courthouse Tuesday, while a similar number of devout Moslems demonstrated for Nosair’s release.
The two groups burned flags and screamed threats and invectives at each other but were kept apart by the police.
Schlesinger, who refused to disqualify himself because he is Jewish, as some had argued he should, angrily reprimanded the hundreds of people who threatened his life, made crank phone calls and demonstrated outside his home after his original decision to set bail.
He said the harassment was “odious” and expressed “contempt and utter revulsion” at the level of “hate which I have never experienced” before.