Israel: Lawyer exits race to head Bar Association after scandal over huge fee in murder case

The Times of Israel reports

A candidate for head of the Israel Bar Association announced he was pulling out of the race Sunday, after having faced intense backlash for charging the family of a murder victim over half a million shekels ($170,000) for his services, most of which was refunded after the distraught family made the matter public.

Eyal Besserglick, a criminal lawyer based in Petah Tikva and a member of the Likud party, had offered his services to the family of Yuri Volkov, a healthcare aide who was stabbed to death in Holon in November after getting into an argument with a motorized scooter driver in a road rage incident, in a case that shocked the country.

In the aftermath of the incident, the Volkov family embarked on a crowdfunding campaign in order to support themselves as well as finance their legal case, raising NIS 915,000 ($270,000).

However, Hebrew media revealed earlier this month that Besserglick had charged the Volkov family NIS 585,000 ($170,000) — almost two-thirds of the amount raised, apparently exploiting the family not knowing this was not a standard fee in Israel.

In a post on his Facebook page Sunday, Besserglick — who has refused to admit any wrong despite sweeping condemnation — complained he had faced a “media lynching” and that a “red line was crossed” as members of his family, his staff and some of his clients were subjected to “harassment” from media outlets and others in the wake of the media reports.

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