NEW YORK (May. 15)
The case against El-Sayyid Nosair, the man accused of assassinating controversial Rabbi Meir Kahane last November, is expected to go to trial in September or October.
After four days of pretrial hearings that ended Tuesday, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Alvin Schlesinger ruled that statements made by Nosair from his hospital bed were admissible.
Nosair was wounded in a shoot-out with police near the hotel where Kahane was murdered, and he later wrote a note claiming he was innocent. The defense did not say why it wanted the statement suppressed.
A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said an additional hearing was scheduled for June 5 concerning a petition filed by Nosair’s attorney to drop the charge of attempted murder of a postal officer.
The Egyptian-born Nosair allegedly tried to kill the postal worker while fleeing the area.
The pretrial hearings were marked by tension and near violence when supporters of Kahane, led by his son Binyamin, tried to attack Nosair when the hearings began May 8.
The 24-year-old son was reported as saying he would like to see Nosair killed, and his shoutings in the courtroom set off a ruckus that ended with the arrest of four Jewish observers.
State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), who attended most of the hearings, said he would be calling for an investigation into the arrests, which he termed a “great injustice.”
Courtroom security was later strengthened and additional guards stationed near the seats set aside for Kahane and Nosair supporters.
Kahane, founder of the militant Jewish Defense League, was gunned down Nov. 5 after giving a speech. He also founded the anti-Arab Kach party in Israel and served in the Knesset before his party was banned for being racist.