An Ashkelon court convicted a city resident who made a bogus call to the emergency police ‘100’ dispatcher, Israel’s equivalent of 911. What made this case significant in the eyes of the court was the timing, just four days after the bodies of the Gush Etzion kedoshim HY”D were found. The defendant told the dispatcher “I have been abducted” and then the line went dead.
Justice Tzion Nachmias showed no mercy on the defendant, whom he states acted irresponsibly and his actions cannot pass without stern punishment. The court explained that the emergency dispatcher operates 24/7, and according to the Israel Police website, deals with 8.5 million calls for assistance annually.
The court rejected the defense’s motion not to blemish the young man’s record with a conviction, stating a conviction will not impair the rehabilitation of the defendant in any way. The court added “If there is a reason that a conviction will compromise his ability to continue at his present job, he can then take classes as he explained he wishes to do and find another job in the future. “I cannot refrain from convicting him without significantly impacting my judgement in other cases”, the court added.
Defense counsel pointed out that generally, in such cases, a criminal indictment is not handed down, citing his client’s friend, who was in the vehicle when police called back and he hung up when he realized it was police, is not being charged.
However, in this case, the court remained determined to convict and punish the defendant.
The court sentenced the defendant to 180 hours of community service in an Ashkelon community center to assist the supervisor. In addition, the defendant must sign agreeing he will forfeit NIS 10,000 if at any time in the next three years he repeats the offense. Repeating it will result in the loss of the money and an automatic 100 days imprisonment.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)