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AG’s office appeals penalty for border policeman

Sunday, June 10, 2018, 10:00 On Naqba Day in May 2014, in the course of an operational activity quelling mass disturbances, Ben Deri, a border policeman, caused the death of a rioter near the town of Beitunia. He was convicted of manslaughter and has served 9 months of his sentence. See more here. This morning Attorney Tzion Amir strongly criticized the decision by the Attorney General’s office to make a last-minute appeal on the penalty. Ben Deri was convicted by the Jerusalem District Court in a plea bargain in which he admitted to the charges in an amended indictment, according to which each side would freely make a plea concerning the penalty. At the conclusion of the trial the Jerusalem District Court imposed a nine-month prison sentence, which Ben Deri began to serve one month ago. At the end of the week, at the last moment before the 45 days during which the Attorney General’s office could appeal had passed, they appealed the penalty. Ben Deri made a counter-appeal against the severity of the penalty. Attorney Tzion Amir: “Filing an appeal at the last moment – on the last day – by the Attorney General’s office, is something that must not be done. An appeal on the leniency of a penalty, under these circumstances, is surprising, especially considering that the act is in essence negligence, by a soldier who erred while fulfilling his duty. The decision to file an appeal is scandalous in my opinion and it is no wonder that following decisions such as this legislative initiatives have been suggested, such as the one proffered by Knesset Member David Amsalem, in order to prevent the Attorney General’s office from appealing in cases such as this. One must ask why, among all of the ‘wrongdoings’ in our society, the Attorney General’s office has been persecuting a combat soldier who paid a high price for guarding the borders of his country,” added Amir. Honenu director Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, also sharply criticized the decision to file an appeal demanding a more severe penalty: “This is an embarrassment and a disgrace. Persecuting soldiers who are sent to protect all of us is obsessive. We do not not see this kind of motivation in the legal system when it comes to terror against soldiers and civilians. As the Sages have said, “Whoever has mercy on the cruel will in the end be cruel to the merciful.”

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