The Shmooze

Australian Man Suspected of Grisly Murder in Tel Aviv

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Husband-wife trips don’t always work out well, but this one turned out far, far worse than the usual bad vacation.

Israeli police were summoned to a hotel room on the 15th floor of Tel Aviv’s Dan Panorama hotel earlier this week to find Australian tourist John Paul Sebastian with the body of his 54-year-old wife, who had been stabbed multiple times in the neck and upper body. Sebastian was arrested on the spot.

Sebastian, 45, from Melbourne, is facing possible murder charges, but in the meantime is being held for eight days for psychiatric evaluation. He claimed that he was compelled to kill his wife because she was an enemy agent “with a written agreement that meant she owned him.” Even more bizarre was his assertion that she had forced him to eat raw meat and human flesh.

Sounds pretty psychotic — which is what Sebastian’s lawyer Eyal Ohayun has put forward as a strong possible reason why his client may not be fit to stand trial.

Australian embassy officials will be on hand at Sebastian’s court hearing and will offer him consular assistance. This is far from a simple case of a lost or stolen passport, so it is not clear what they are really going to be able to do for him.


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