Original article no longer available
Dec 13, 2002
Eli Pimstein, who confessed on Tuesday to murdering his 22-month-old daughter Hodaya, will undergo psychiatric evaluation on Sunday to determine whether he is fit to stand trial and whether he was sane when committing the murder.
The special investigation team that solved the murder is convinced Pimstein was sane and aware of his doings when he committed the murder last Saturday morning. This is indicated by the fact that Pimstein planned the murder in advance and dug his daughter’s grave a month before the murder took place, the police say.
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court yesterday appointed public defender Amir Dahan to represent Pimstein, after his lawyers resigned Wednesday citing “personal circumstances” and the public defense had said he was not entitled to receive financial aid for his defense. Magistrate Amnon Solberg ruled, however, that a public defender must be appointed.
The court extended Pimstein’s remand by 12 days.
Pimstein’s relatives said yesterday that he had been mentally unstable and was getting psychiatric treatment for the past three months for depression. Apparently he was being treated with a relatively mild anti-depressant.
His last therapy session was held at the end of November, so the decision to murder his daughter was apparently made during his psychiatric treatment.
The psychiatrist who treated Pimstein yesterday testified to the police and said in private conversations that at no time during the treatment did he suspect Pimstein of intending to murder his daughter.
The police continued gathering testimonies and evidence yesterday, beginning to wrap up the investigation. However, the police will still not say what Pimstein’s motive was in committing the murder. The assumption is that the reason lies in his troubled relations with Roni Kedem, Hodaya’s mother.
Hundreds of people yesterday came to Kedem’s parents’ home in Jerusalem’s Nayot neighborhood, where the family is sitting shiva. Among those who came to console her were many of the volunteers who helped look for the missing child.
Pimstein’s father, Nissan, yesterday refused to answer questions about his son’s mental condition. “The whole country is against us now,” he said. “We’re a small family and we must stand behind our son.”
On the day of Pimstein’s arrest, his father said his son has no “psychological record” as far as he knew.