Yigal Amir has confessed in open court to killing Yitzhak Rabin, saying that he had shot the prime minister for the “glory of God” and did not regret his actions.
At the opening of his trial Tuesday in Tel Aviv District Court, Amir, a 25- year-old religious Jew, denied that the Nov. 4 shooting was premeditated and said he had nothing personal against Rabin.
Wearing a black kipah and a purple and black sweater, Amir war calm as he answered to each of the charges, as required by law, in the indictment sheet before him.
In his response to the charges against him, Amir said he had not aimed to kill Rabin, only to seriously injure him to force him out of the political arena.
“My aim was to shoot him in such a way as to end his activity as prime minister, either by paralyzing him or, if there was no choice, by killing him,” Amir said before Judge Edmond Levy.
Amir said that when he fired the first of three bullets that hit Rabin, he had aimed at the spinal column, not the head.
Amir has denied that he had conspired with his older brother Hagai and a friend, Dror Adani. Those two, along with Amir, face separate conspiracy charges. Amir alone is charged with murder.
Amir also told the court that he had neither sought nor received a rabbi’s blessing to kill Rabin.
Earlier, one of Amir’s two lawyers, Jonathan Goldberg, wanted to delay the trial in order to wait for the results of a state inquiry into security blunders that led to the assassination.
The judge would not grant the delay. The start of the trial had been delayed once in December.
The second attorney, Mordechai Ofri, told the judge Tuesday that he wanted to resign from the case because of a conflict of interest. He offered no additional details.
Some of the police officers involved in Amir’s arrest and confession testified Tuesday.
“He was no sure of himself, so proud of the act that he had carried out that he simply told me in detail everything he had done over the last two years in preparing to kill the prime minister,” Officer Nissim Daoudi told the court.
When the judge asked Amir about the confession, Amir said: “I volunteered my confession. I gave it from my own free will.”
At the end of the four-hour session Tuesday, the judge adjourned the trial until Sunday to give the defense team time to sort things out.
If found guilty of premeditated murder, Amir faces a life sentence. If he is found guilty of a murder that is not premeditated, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.