Canadian Paying for Defense of Assassin, Israeli Media Say

A Canadian Jew is financing the legal defense of Yigal Amir the confessed assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, according to Israeli media.

Mabat, the nightly newscast on Israeli television, broadcast Wednesday that a Canadian donor had given money for Amir’s defense after contacting his family after the Nov. 4 shooting.

Subsequent reports named the benefactor as Sam “Sparky” Spodek, a Toronto businessman and a member of the Orthodox B’nai Torah Congregation in North York, a Toronto suburb.

Spodek reportedly splits his time between Toronto and Jerusalem, where he is involved in a business deal.

Amir, 25, was indicated last week on charges that included premeditated murder. His brother Hagai Amir and a friend were indicted on separate changes. It was also reported that Spodek would pay for Hagai Amir’s defense.

One of Spodek’s sons studied with Amir at a yeshiva, Israel Radio reported.

But the Canadian’s family members said Spodek was ill and lacked the means to pay for lawyers for the brothers.

Manuel Prutschi, the executive director of the Canadian Jewish Congress Ontario region, questioned whether Spodek had the resources to pay the legal costs.

“From what we have been able to ascertain, the individual represents no one and we are surprised that any credibility is being ascribed to these fanciful claims,” he said. “It is hard to conceive of anyone associating themselves with such an endeavor.”

B’nai Brith Canada head Frank Dimant said he found the idea of bankrolling Yigal Amir “disgusting.”

Amir’s lawyer, Yonatan Ray Goldberg, refused to comment.

The confessed assassin’s trial is set to begin Dec. 19 in Tel Aviv.

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