Suspects Named in Jerusalem Stage Collapse Case

Six parties being charged with criminal negligence and involuntary manslaughter in 2012 lighting pole collapse which killed IDF officer.

Ido Ben-Porat and Tova Dvorin ,

Sigalit Bezaleli holds Hila's picture (file)
Sigalit Bezaleli holds Hila's picture (file)

In 2012, a lighting pole collapsed on stage during rehearsals for Israel's official Independence Day (Yom Ha'atzmaut) ceremony, killing twenty year-old IDF officer Hila Bezaleli. 

Now, almost two years later, significant progress was made in the Bezaleli case Wednesday, after the Jerusalem District Court announced that six suspects being tried for negligence in the accident would be privy to a special hearing with the prosecution - if they so wished. 

The six suspects have been named as Elad Lavi, Doron Lavi, Taimuraz (Tomer) Laonidzeh, Yitzhak Zucker and Oren Varshavsky - as well as, generally, the 'Itzuv Bama' stage design company. All are being charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal negligence. 

'Itzuv Bama' built the stage under an agreement with the Ministry of Information; Elad and Doron Lavi were the company's founders, and CEO and COO [respectively]; Laonidzeh was the company's director of operations; Zucker was a safety consultant for the event and Varshavsky was an engineer involved in the stage's construction and design. 

The prosecution stated that the case is built on the role of prima facie evidence that all six were guilty of negligence that led to the accident, killing Bezaleli and wounding several other soldiers. Eyewitness testimony and expert opinion from the Technion Institute's engineering school are also key factors in the case.