Four men suspected of a hate crime committed in 2009 that resulted in two dead and eleven wounded at the Bar Noar Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual Youth Center in Israel are on trial, including an individual said to be a prominent member of the local LGBT community.
The suspects are being charged with two counts of murder in the first degree and 11 counts of attempted murder; the identities of the four men, arrested on June 5, have not been revealed.
Revenge appears to be the motive for the killing of 26-year-old youth counselor Nir Kats, 16-year-old youth volunteer Liz Triboshi, and the wounding of 11 minors.
It is one of the first substantial leads in four years for the incident that occurred in the Tel Aviv LGBT youth center.
“Four years have gone by and the story is so crazy that I don’t know what to say,” Israel’s Aguda spokesperson Chen Langer said in a statement.
Aguda is an LGBT umbrella group for Israel and Langer said she was shocked to find out that a member of the LGBT community is linked to the crime.
“This is not the person I know,” Langer added. “The person I know and what they’re saying are two different extremes.”
The men have an extensive criminal record of car break-ins, arson, and charges related to drugs, weapons, and explosives. One suspect was interrogated for six hours while a few may have to testify against each other.
No journalists were present at the trial, as the case is covered with a gag order.
The arrests were made two days before Tel Aviv’s annual pride parade.