The IDF Appeals Court on Sunday announced on Sunday that the ruling of the lower court is upheld, rejecting the defense’s appeal outright, rejecting the claims presented to the court by defense counsel one by one and rejecting any and all efforts to cast a shadow of doubt on the testimony heard in the lower court as well as regarding allegations pertaining to at least one judge in the lower court; claiming he was motivated to act as he did by an imminent promotion. The court ruled the defense failed to present evidence justifying a change in the earlier verdict or sentence. The court also rejected the prosecution’s appeal and the 18-month sentence remains as is.
The IDF Appeals Court on Sunday 7 Av, headed by Major-General Doron Piles, heard the appeal of former Sgt. Elor Azariya, who has since been discharged from the service since his lower court conviction, having completed his three-year compulsory term. The court felt that his version of the events on that Purim day in Hebron were “unreliable”.
The court also rejected an effort by defense attorney Sheftal to discredit the testimony of fellow soldiers, as Sheftal tried to discredit the testimony accepted by the lower court. The appeals court upheld the testimony, calling it reliable. In fact, the higher court placed a question mark on the reliability of Azariya’s testimony. The court also stated he acted as one does at a shooting range and not as one should at the scene of a terror attack. The court added that the defendant acted in contradiction to open-fire orders.
The court stated the defendant was not acting out of self-defense and there was no immediate danger to his life as he claimed.
Azariya was found guilty of manslaughter by the IDF lower court and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.
Attorney Sheftal indicated at the outset that if the appeal is rejected, he may take the case to the High Court of Justice.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)