Israeli pleads not guilty over firearms

KUALA LUMPUR: Alleged Israeli hitman Shalom Avitan has claimed trial at the Sessions Court here to two charges over the possession of six pistols and 158 bullets.The 38-year-old was brought into the courtroom at 10.25am yesterday to face the two charges.

He was charged under Section 7 of the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act with trafficking firearms and Section 8(a) of the Arms Act with possession of firearms or ammunition.

When the charge sheet was read out to him in English before Sessions Court Judge Tasnim Abu Bakar, Avitan nodded his head.

“I understand. Not guilty,” said Avitan as he stood in the stand with handcuffs, flanked by four Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers in tactical gear.

Bukit Aman’s CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain was spotted in the courtroom too.

According to the charge sheet, Avitan was charged under the Arms Act with possession of four boxes of bullets, of which three contained 50 bullets and one with eight bullets.

He was charged under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act with possession of six guns at a five-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

He faces between 30 and 40 years in prison for the charge under the Firearms Act and seven years’ jail or a RM10,000 fine and whipping for the charge under the Arms Act.

Both offences allegedly took place between 6.46pm on March 26 and 6pm on March 28 in a room of the hotel along Jalan Ampang.

Judge Tasnim set May 21 for the next mention. No bail was granted.

Lawyers Jeffrey Ooi and Navinjit Singh appeared for Avitan, while deputy public prosecutor Mustafa P. Kunyalam prosecuted.

Avitan’s lawyers refused to reveal who had appointed them as his lawyers.

Reporters had waited since 9am for the court proceedings to start.

It was understood that this was to allow time for Avitan’s lawyers to arrive.

It was reported that on March 27, the suspect was arrested at a hotel in Jalan Ampang with six pistols and 200 bullets in his possession. The pistols included a Sig Sauer, two Glocks, a Stoeger Cugar and a Smith & Wesson.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain earlier said that during interrogation, the suspect told police that he came to Malaysia to kill a fellow Israeli over a family dispute.

A total of 16 people have been detained in connection with the case so far.

Among those detained were a local married couple aged 40 and 42 who allegedly sold the pistols to the Israeli and another man who was Avitan’s driver.

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Israeli Spy , Courts , Shalom Avitan


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