A Russian-Israeli citizen who attacked a radio journalist in 2017, claiming he had ‘telepathic contact’ with her, is unfit for trial due to mental illness and should be sent for treatment, a court in Moscow has ruled.
Boris Grits was recognized as unfit to stand trial for attempted murder and relieved of criminal responsibility. The same ruling, by the Presnensky District Court in Moscow on Friday, announced that Grits should undergo medical treatment in a closed psychiatry ward.
In October 2017 Grits, armed with a knife and pepper spray, forced his way into the offices of the Ekho Moskvy (Moscow Echo) radio station and stabbed one of its talk show hosts, Tatyana Felgengauer, in the neck. The journalist survived, but had to spend a fortnight in hospital.
The attacker was detained and charged with attempted murder. He told investigators that he was a dual Russian-Israeli citizen who arrived to Moscow to meet Felgengauer because the reporter had “sexually tormented him via a telepathic connection” since 2012.
Grits pleaded guilty to the attack, but emphasized that he had no intention of killing the reporter and only wanted to wound her. He also apologized to Felgengauer’s mother for the attack.
The court ordered a psychiatric expertise into Grits’s condition and, in January this year, doctors concluded that the man suffered from acute schizophrenia and could not fully understand the consequences of his actions.
Both Grits and the prosecutor can appeal the ruling within a 10-day period.