BANGKOK – Eli Cohen, 46, who was jailed infor his ex-wife Carol Cohen and dismembering her body, left for Wednesday evening. Cohen’s sister said upon arriving in Israel he immediately boarded another plane en route to another country.
In December 2004, Cohen was sentenced to life in prison after he confessed to stabbing Carol Cohen to death and dumping her
dismembered body parts in a Bangkok river. The court in did not sentence him to death because the judges were convinced the murder was not premeditated and was committed in an uncontrollable fit of rage. Since Cohen had already been convicted of murder, he could be tried again.
In November 2012 Cohen was pardoned by the king of Thailand after serving only seven years.
Cohen murdered his ex-wife, the mother of his two children, in February 2004 after he traveled to Thailand and invited her to visit. A few days after Carol’s arrival in Bangkok, he stabbed her to death, placed her dismembered body parts in a suitcase and threw it in the river. The woman’s upper body was found in the suitcase. Her head, legs and hands were later discovered in a ditch. Cohen was arrested after complaining at the Israeli Embassy that his wife had gone missing. Employees at the hotel the couple had stayed in said they found a blood-soaked towel in his room.
Attorney Dikla Tutian, co-chairperson of the Noga Legal Center for Victims of , is representing Carol Cohen’s family. She said no action was taken to prevent Eli Cohen’s entrance to Israel. “The authorities are not lifting a finger to minimize the distortion of justice,” she said.
The Noga Center turned to the interior, foreign and justice ministries, but the king’s pardon was fast-tracked nonetheless, “in a manner which goes against justice and common sense,” Tutian said. “The murderer returned as though nothing ever happened.”
A press inquiry to the Embassy of Thailand in Israel went unanswered by Tuesday afternoon.
Contacted on Thursday, Professor Emmanuel Gross of Haifa University said that the situation is “absurd” and very “sad,” adding that Israel “can’t do much with the current law to change the result” of Cohen going free following his pardon in Thailand since “our legal situation is we must respect” Thailand’s legal determination of the issue and Israel cannot try Cohen a second time where he was already tried in Thailand.
He noted that if Cohen had been extradited and brought to trial in Israel he would have almost certainly gotten a “mandatory life sentence.” Asked if public outcry could lead to an amendment to the law to allow for an exception for re-prosecuting persons like Cohen, Gross said that “after such a bad precedent, exceptions” might be considered.