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Killer of Yitzhak Rabin officially begins filing of retrial request

Yigal Amir, the convicted assassin of late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, is seen during a court hearing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007.
AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

Yigal Amir, convicted of the 1995 murder of Yitzhak Rabin, on Sunday officially began proceedings to request a retrial in which he will claim the bullets fired from his pistol did not cause the then-prime minister's death. 

"I went to visit Yigal Amir in prison," his lawyer Gabi Shachar was quoted as saying by Israel's Hadashot television channel. "I got his signature on documents to prepare for the filing of a retrial request."

On November 19 Amir's wife Larisa Trembovler announced on Facebook that she was assembling a legal team on behalf of her husband to re-contest his conviction. 

Amir, 47, is currently serving a life sentence plus 14 years for the murder of the prime minister and injuring his bodyguard under aggravating circumstances.

Sachar was quoted as saying that they would first request a retrial to "invalidate" the conviction relating to the bodyguard. 

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

A public relations adviser for Amir and his family told the Times of Israel earlier in November that his defense team will claim that Amir should have been tried for attempted murder, rather than for the actual murder of Rabin, arguing that another assassin actually fired the lethal bullets.

“We are not saying that Yigal Amir wasn’t there and we are not saying that he didn’t shoot. But there is proof that his bullets didn’t kill Rabin,” Michael Achour told the Times of Israel. “He was there, but he didn’t kill him. It should be considered attempted murder.”

The right wing activist never expressed remorse for the slaying of Rabin and justified his actions using ‘Din Rodef’, a concept in Jewish law that allows in some cases murdering someone in order to prevent them killing others.

In 2001 the Israeli parliament passed a law that prohibits pardoning or shortening the sentence of someone convicted of murdering a prime minister.

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