The Jerusalem District Court exonerated Elchanan Chakon,
former owner of Photo Allen, who was charged with the murder
of Rav Yehuda Samet zt"l two-and-a- half years ago.
Judge Yoel Tzur determined that Chakon was acting in self-
defense when he struck the victim, who passed away one week
Two-and-a-half years ago wide-scale public protest was
organized against the owner of the photo shop on Jerusalem's
Yechezkel Street after all efforts to prevent him from
selling offensive items to local adolescents failed. During a
demonstration held outside the store Chakon began to hit the
demontrating avreichim and then attacked Rav Samet,
who had happened upon the gathering and was trying to calm
The entire incident was documented on film by a private
investigator and Chakon can be seen striking Rav Samet for
several minutes, during which a policeman at the scene did
nothing to intervene. Rav Samet was hospitalized in serious
condition and passed away eight days later. The massive
levaya for the kodosh was held in Jerusalem and
a few days later murder charges were filed.
According to the indictment, Chakon pushed Rav Samet, causing
him to fall and strike his head against the sidewalk. In his
decision Judge Tzur writes Chakon was "in a state of pressure
as he was trying to save his life from the avreichim
threatening him." Chakon gave Rav Samet "a relatively light
push," he writes.
Jerusalem's chareidi residents were pained and angered by the
judicial system's defense of a low individual who first
caused spiritual harm to many youths and then, shortly before
his store closed down, displayed extremely violent behavior
toward protestors at demonstrations held outside his store
and also caused the death of an innocent passerby.
Neighborhood residents were deeply disturbed that the court
apparently sought to clear the defendant rather than putting
him behind bars for many years.