Witness: Amir was egged on

JERUSALEM — The defense for the confessed assassin of Yitzhak Rabin rested this week after trying to show that a suspected secret service informant had encouraged the killing.

In Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday, defense attorneys tried to emphasize the role of Avishai Raviv, the suspected agent who founded an extreme-right group, Eyal, with which Yigal Amir was loosely linked.

Amir, a 25-year-old religious Jew, is on trial for the Nov. 4 murder of the prime minister.

Raviv reportedly worked for Israel's domestic intelligence service, the Shin Bet.

"He egged Yigal Amir on," testified Eran Ojalbou, an Eyal activist and Raviv's former roommate. "Avishai Raviv would agitate against Arabs and politicians."

The roommate added, "He called Rabin a traitor."

Amir, who opposes the government's peace policies with the Palestinians, maintains he intended only to paralyze Rabin to force him out of politics.

Among defense witnesses was Dr. Gavriel Weil, who examined Amir. Weil said Amir believed he was right to kill Rabin and decided to act with full clarity of mind.

In a separate trial, Amir faces charges of plotting the slaying.