JERUSALEM – The imprisoned assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (search) secretly married a woman who has visited him behind bars for years, the inmate's mother said Friday, eight months after Israel (search) turned down a request for a jailhouse wedding.
Geula Amir said her son, Yigal Amir (search), married Larisa Trimbobler, a divorced mother of four, two weeks ago but was not present for the vows. A rabbi performed the ceremony at the Amir home in the coastal resort of Herzliya, with Trimbobler and two witnesses attending, and Amir locked in his cell.
"They are married," Geula Amir said. "They had a religiously approved ceremony."
Amir is serving a life sentence in Ayalon Prison in central Israel for Rabin's 1995 killing. Amir, an ultranationalist Jew, has said he wanted to stop the handover of land in Israeli-Palestinian peace deals and has shown no regret. The assassination was a major blow to peace efforts.
His request in January to marry Trimbobler prompted an outcry in Israel, and Israel's Prisons Service turned him down.
Trimbobler, who immigrated from the former Soviet Union more than a decade ago, has visited Amir in prison every two weeks for several years. She has a doctorate in philosophy and has brought Amir many books on the subject, the Yediot Ahronot newspaper said.
"We felt our story was going on a long time," Trimbobler told the newspaper Thursday night. "We (conducted the ceremony) out of a simple need to realize the connection between us by a measure which is permitted and which exists in religious law."
Prisons Service spokesman Ofer Lefler said Friday that Amir's father Shlomo apparently drafted a marriage contract with his son during a visit and brought the document to the ceremony in Herzliya.
Jewish weddings require that the groom give the bride a marriage contract and a ring during the ceremony, but the two objects can also be sent by a messenger, said Rabbi Shai Agmoni, a lecturer in religious affairs.
Lefler said he did not believe that Shlomo Amir had taken a ring out of the prison, but that the Prisons Service was investigating.