Man Confesses to Robbery - Because of Yom Kippur

Schizophrenic man confesses to robbing gas station - six months after proceedings began - due to a need for 'closure.'

Tova Dvorin ,

(Illustration)
(Illustration)
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A schizophrenic man confessed his participation in an armed robbery earlier this year in Tel Aviv District Court last week, after six months of silence - all due to a desire for "closure" before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  

The suspect - a mentally ill man named Yisrael Bavli who was deemed fit to stand trial despite his illness - had been implicated in robbing a gas station several months ago with a toy gun. 

The prosecution had difficulty linking him to the crime, however, Walla! News reports Friday, after little conclusive evidence linked Bavli to the scene and he provided a reasonable alibi. 

Bavli's lawyer, Attorney Tali Gottlieb, argued that there is "no evidence of guilt" in the case, saying that there "is no shred of evidence sufficient to spark [Bavli's] arrest."

"The robbery, caught on film, was done by a person wearing clothing similar to articles found in the defendant's yard," Gottlieb argued, "but there is no forensic evidence linking him to the scene, and the defendant claims he was at home [at the time]." 

"As far as we have taken this case, we have found no questions to answer, and I ask not to require the defendant to answer the charges of guilt," she added. 

The prosecution rejected this argument, asking Bavli to "stand up and give his version of events."

Bavli surprised everyone, however, by confessing to full participation in the robbery.

"Why did you not tell me before?" Gottlieb asked, in front of the courtroom. "I wasn't given permission to speak," Bavli responded, adding that he never claimed he was innocent. 

When asked why he decided to come forward, Bavli merely said that he needed "closure." 

"No one has influenced you [into confessing]?" Gottlieb asked, wondering aloud if the man had been subject to any threats by a different perpetrator of the crime. "Not that I know of," he said.

Gottlieb asked to send Bavli for an additional psychiatric evaluation after the confession broke, but was denied. 

The judge presiding over the hearing asked Bavli why he confessed now - after six months of trial - and he said that it was a matter of "precedent." 

When asked whether it was due to a need to confess his sins before the Yom Kippur holiday, he answered in the affirmative. 

"Honor the will of the man," the judge stated, and convicted Bavli of the crime and one count of breaching court order, as he was supposed to have been on house arrest at the time of the robbery. 




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