Exterminator responsible for disaster convicted of manslaughter

Yosef Zvi Barkan, exterminator responsible for Jerusalem disaster that killed two sisters convicted of manslaughter in a plea bargain.

Shlomo Pyotrovsky ,

Yael and Avigail Gross
Yael and Avigail Gross
Gross family

The Jerusalem District Court Thursday afternoon indicted exterminator Yosef Zvi Barkan on two counts of manslaughter and four counts of causing grievous bodily injury, according to his confession.

Barkan admitted committing the offenses in a signed plea bargain.

Sentencing will take place on Sunday in a week and a half, after the exterminator deposits 200,000 shekels that he undertook to pay as compensation to the Gross family in the plea bargain.

According to the arrangement, Barkan is to confess and be convicted in the indictment and the parties will together petition that the sentence to be imposed on the defendant will consist of three years' imprisonment, a suspended prison sentence, and immediate compensation of 200,000 shekels to the Gross family.

"The arrangement was accepted after examination of all the circumstances including two psychiatric evaluations - one requested by the defense and the other by the prosecution - attesting to Barkan's problematic medical condition at the time of the offense. The arrangement was signed after being presented to the Gross family, the victims, who expressed their consent to the understandings reached and the punishment agreed to between the parties," the prosecution stated after signing the agreement.

In January 2014, four-year old Yael Gross and 2-year old Avigayil Gross died after Barkan treated the Gross family residence in Jerusalem. Two additional children, Michael and Yitzhak Gross, were seriously injured.

Highly toxic materials including phosphine had been left the apartment's bomb shelter room (Mamad).



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