Accused Child Murderer
A halakhic ruling issued before the weekend by rabbinical sages of the ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem exonerates a yeshiva student, 19, charged with the killing of his three-months-old baby.
The ruling, issued by rabbis Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Shmuel Auerbach and Chaim Kniyevski was delivered to Jerusalem Police Chief Maj. Gen. Ilan Franco on Friday.
The halakhic ruling threatens to renew the violent demonstrations held ten days ago in the Me'ah Shearim ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. The ruling describes the charge sheet against Vales as "blood libel."
Yisrael Vales is suspected of beating his son and throwing him against the wall because the baby's cries annoyed him. The son died of his wounds two weeks ago.
The baby was hospitalized at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, in serious condition, with brain hemorrhaging, edema, signs of violence and bites on his body.
Vales was initially indicted at the Jerusalem District Court on two counts of abuse and cause of serious injuries to his son. Prosecutors now seek to change the charge to manslaughter.
During his second questioning, Vales admitted he slammed the baby against a wall and had previously attacked him numerous times, because he "wouldn't let him sleep." He said he would beat his son with his fists, slap him and bite him on the neck.
The Jerusalem District Court is scheduled Monday to decide on the extension of Vales' remand. Police say Vales had confessed to having committed the offenses with which he was charged.
Here is the report from the Jerusalem Post:
Jerusalem Rabbis Shalom Elyashiv and Haim Kanievski released a halachic decree Sunday morning stating that Yisrael Valis, the 19-year-old father accused of violently killing his infant son, was innocent.
One of the rabbis, speaking to Israel Radio, said that the basis for the decree was that Valis' wife was still supporting him, and that if he had indeed killed his son, she would not be at his side still.
Valis is facing manslaughter charges for beating his three-month old baby to death.
He allegedly hurled the baby against the wall after he started to cry, is suspected of repeatedly biting, beating, pinching and punching the infant since he was born because he "did not accept him" due to a defect the child was born with in his neck muscles, police said.
The rabbi also called Sunday for the release of Valis to house arrest, threatening that if he is not released then protests by the haredi community would resume.
Extremist elements in the haredi community had previously threatened to riot and to "make Jerusalem burn" if the suspected baby killer is not released from custody, even though police said that he has admitted beating his child.
In a previous effort to ease tensions, Rabbinical sages and Valis' family issued a statement two weeks ago calling on protesters to refrain from violence and from burning trash on the street.
Jerusalem Municipality spokesman Gidi Schmerling said last Saturday that haredi riots over the last week have caused NIS 140,000 in damage, including the destruction of 30 city garbage bins.
Haredim, wake up! Your rabbis are destroying you!