Daily Israel Report

French Nationals to Stand Trial for Tel Aviv Hit-and-Run

Claude Khayat and Eric Robic, suspects in death of Israeli woman Lee Zeitouni in 2011, to face up to ten years in prison.
By AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 9/2/2014, 7:40 PM

Court (illustrative)
Court (illustrative)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Two Frenchmen allegedly involved in the hit-and-run death of an Israeli woman in Tel Aviv will stand trial in Paris on November 27, judicial sources told AFP Tuesday.

Pilates instructor Lee Zeitouni, 25, was hit by a speeding BMW on a city street in September 2011 and left to die when the drivers failed to stop.

Eric Robic, who has admitted being the driver of the vehicle during the accident, faces charges of aggravated manslaughter, unlawful escape to avoid responsibility, and not providing aid to a person in distress. If found guilty of aggravated manslaughter, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of 150,000 euros ($196,000).

Not providing aid to a person in distress carries a fine of 75,000 euros and five years behind bars.

Another Frenchman, Claude Khayat, stands accused of the lesser charges of not providing aid to a person in distress and unlawful escape.

Both men fled to France after the accident.

The case caused widespread outrage in Israel and prompted calls for the two men to be extradited to stand trial. The trial, according to Israel Radio, is due to last only one day; a verdict may be delivered within a week. 

Earlier this year, Robic was sentenced in a fraud case to 18 months in jail for 35,000 Euro taken from seafood dealers via identity theft and other fraud. Robic was arrested shortly after he fled to France to avoid the Israeli charges; the court ordered him to pay 21,000 Euro in compensation.