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Israeli Confesses to Killing, Dismembering Wife in Thailand.

By Ha'aretz

An Israeli man on trial for murdering and dismembering his wife in Thailand on Tuesday changed his plea from not guilty to guilty. If convicted, he faces the death penalty. Eli Cohen, 36, was arrested in February and accused of murdering Carol, his 26-year-old estranged wife, during a vacation in Bangkok.

The arrest came after the discovery of a torso in a suitcase dumped in a canal in the Thai capital. Other body parts and a head were found later in the canal and forensic tests confirmed the body was Carol's.

Cohen had originally pleaded innocent to the murder, but on Tuesday confessed to the crime. He insisted, however, that the murder was not premeditated. "I loved my wife a lot," Cohen told the court through an interpreter. "I did what I did without thought."

The court accepted Cohen's plea reversal, which came shortly after the Israeli lost a diplomatic appeal to have his trial transferred to a Tel Aviv court. The court heard the testimony of three employees at the Prince Palace Hotel, where Cohen allegedly killed his wife with a butcher cleaver. His case will continue Wednesday.

The head of Israel's State Prosecution international division, Irit Kahan, said in August that if Cohen is sentenced to the death penalty, Justice Minister Yosef Lapid has said Israel would appeal to the Thai king for clemency and ask the authorities there to suffice with a life-sentence.

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Publication:Israel Faxx
Date:Oct 6, 2004
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