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Amir Appears in Court, Says He Killed Rabin for Israel

By Marjorie Miller
Los Angeles Times

Yigal Amir, the unrepentant killer of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, appeared in court for a second time on Monday, asserting that he had pulled the fatal trigger on behalf of the entire nation of Israel.

Arriving under heavy guard, Amir waved to his parents, who had not seen him since the Nov. 4 assassination at a Tel Aviv peace rally, and gestured to his crying mother as if to ask why she was in tears.

Looking smug and at times disdainful, the 25-year-old law student told the court that he would serve as his own attorney because no one could represent him better than he could.

At the same time, the country watched in amazement for a second day as the political right wing went on the offensive against the security establishment that apparently had infiltrated the extremists' ranks before the assassination, but failed to prevent it.

Opposition leaders accused the Labor government of having used its secret service in a campaign to smear the right.

In court, confessed killer Amir was asked by reporters how he had felt during his re-enactment of the crime last week when he passed by the mass of memorial candles left by mourners beneath Rabin's picture in the square now named for the slain prime minister.

"It reminded me of all those attacks (by Arab terrorists) ... These were the victims of peace. The country is full of such memorials, and I said to myself, `Finally, justice has been done,' " Amir said.

He repeated his earlier claim that he had acted alone in the assassination but added the new twist: "Perhaps physically I acted alone, but it was not only my finger that pulled the trigger but the entire nation which for 2,000 years dreamed about this country and spilled its blood for it."

Amir had said previously that he killed Rabin because the prime minister was going to turn over Jewish land to the Palestinians under the 1993 peace accord between Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Judge Dan Arbel ordered Amir held for another 11 days while authorities prepare his indictment. Police say he will be charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and possession of weapons.

Police insist that Rabin was the victim of a conspiracy led by Amir and his 27-year-old brother Hagai, who has confessed to altering the bullets with which Rabin was shot.