Monday, December 14, 2015, 19:02 On Monday, December 14, after serving a two-month active prison sentence, one of the four detained Nahal Hareidi Netzah Yehuda Regiment soldiers who was accused of hitting a detained terrorist in mid-October has been released. The trial of the other three soldiers continues. During the days prior to the soldier’s release Honenu Attorney Aharon Roza reached a plea bargain agreement with the Military Advocate General. Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, the director of Honenu who is giving the soldiers legal counsel, responded to the verdict: “This situation in which more and more parents who send their sons to serve in the army and protect all of us, and themselves, and later see them handcuffed for no justifiable reason, is worrisome. This is a phenomenon stemming from foreign pressures, which will stop if we strengthen our belief in the justice of our ways.” In mid-October seven Nahal Hareidi Netzah Yehuda soldiers were detained. Two soldiers were released after the Military Advocate General retracted its decision to issue an indictment against them and one of the soldiers was released and confined to his base. The other four soldiers were held in remand and on November 1 the Military Court of Appeals in Yafo ruled that they would be held until the end of proceedings against them. An appeal on the ruling was rejected on November 11. See here and here for for more information on the case. In the framework of the plea bargain the soldier admitted to hitting the detained terrorist once, because of the circumstances surrounding the detention: According to the soldier, when he walked down a corridor in the base he noticed the terrorist, who had been detained in Kfar Attil, near Tul Karem, handcuffed and shouting in Arabic. The soldier passed the terrorist but did nothing, until he returned several minutes later and saw that the terrorist was still shouting and screaming. Then the soldier hit the terrorist once. “I was still tense from the previous night’s work. We had been in his [the terrorist’s] house and found a book written by Hitler. It was horrific. I would not have hit someone for no reason. I smacked him, once, because of his shouting and everything that had happened with him,” explained the soldier during interrogation. Honenu Attorney Aharon Roza, who is representing the soldier, stated that, “The incident attributed to the soldier, which he does regret, and to the error of which he immediately admitted during interrogation, is hitting a terrorist once during a momentary lapse of reason, and that was after passing the terrorist once and not hitting him.” According to the testimony of the soldiers and military documents in the investigatory case, the terrorist who was hit was the most senior of the 14 wanted terrorists who were detained on that same night. He was classified as an important objective who was expected to have weapons in his possession. The soldier was convicted of abuse. The military court sentenced him to two months of active prison sentence which he completed on Monday, December 14 and to 100 days of a conditional sentence. He was demoted to the rank of private and also obligated to pay the terrorist 1,500 NIS in compensation. The judges accepted a request made by Honenu Attorney Aharon Roza, who represented the soldier, and ruled that the soldier will not have a criminal record when he is released from the IDF.
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