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AG’s Office Retracts Border Policeman’s Indictment

1On Monday 5 Kislev, after a dramatic legal struggle of over two and a half years, the Attorney General’s office retraction of its indictment of border policeman Ben Deri was announce. The following morning Honenu director Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad made a statement in response to the announcement that a plea bargain had been reached between the Attorney General’s office and Attorney Tzion Amir, who is representing Ben Deri on behalf of Honenu.

Ben Deri was accused of killing an Arab rioter who threw rocks at border policemen during protests in Bituniya near the Ofer Military Base on “Nakba Day” in May 2014.

“The situation is crazy,” said Meidad. “Over and over again IDF soldiers and border policemen have returned from the battlefield in handcuffs. One must remember with whom we are dealing. The casualty is a masked Arab youth who, with hundreds of other Arabs, threw rocks with the intent to injure soldiers. If a soldier acted contrary to regulations that can be examined in the military framework. But the Attorney General’s office, usually as a result of pressures from hostile foreign organizations, demands prison sentences for soldiers who risk their lives for the sake of our security.”

Ben Deri was initially held for two months at the Abu Kabir detention center, then remained under complete house arrest with an electronic handcuff for over two years. After a prolonged trial the State of Israel retracted the indictment and the accusation that Ben Deri had intentionally loaded a live bullet in his weapon’s magazine. The State reached an agreement with Ben Deri’s attorney, Tzion Amir, which states that the defendant believed that he was shooting rubber bullets and was completely unaware that a live bullet had been loaded, by means unknown to him, among the other bullets in his magazine.

After the retraction was announced, Attorney Tzion Amir, who is representing Ben Deri on behalf of Honenu, stated that, “We are not going to formally respond until the final stage of the trial. Nonetheless we are satisfied with the fact that the Attorney General’s office has retracted its claims after two and a half years of trial.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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