Amir team eyes new plea

JERUSALEM — The attorneys for Yigal Amir, the confessed assassin of Yitzhak Rabin, are reportedly planning to argue that their client suffered from emotional disorders.

If this new line of defense were employed, Amir could get a lighter sentence if convicted of assassinating Rabin.

Under Israel's criminal code, a defendant convicted of murder can get less than a life sentence if it is proven he or she suffered from emotional problems at the time of committing the crime.

Amir has told the court that he wanted to wound Rabin seriously, and thereby force him out of politics, but not to kill him.

Amir has cited religious justification for the killing.

In the latest deliberations Feb. 1, presiding Judge Edmond Levy ordered that Amir undergo psychiatric evaluations, which were being conducted this week.

Meanwhile, Amir's lawyer, Jonathan Goldberg, denied that Amir's team was changing its plans.

The prosecution last week showed an amateur video of Rabin's murder. It shows Amir resting beside a planter, getting up, moving behind Rabin as he left a Nov. 4 peace rally in Tel Aviv, stretching out his right hand and firing three times.