The reservist soldier suspected of killing a man he mistook for a terrorist during the Jerusalem terror attack last week was arrested on Monday morning by the Military Police.
Yuval Castleman, z’l, an armed civilian, opened fire at the terrorists who carried out the attack on Thursday, neutralizing at least one of them and saving many lives. But in a tragic turn of events, a nearby reservist then mistook Castleman for a third terrorist and opened fire at him, despite the fact that he was holding his arms in the air. He died of his wounds hours later.
The suspect was interrogated for the first time on Sunday. He was arrested on Monday after contradictions were discovered between his testimony and findings at the scene.
The reservist’s lawyers said: “The soldier was interrogated for many hours. During the investigation, he gave his detailed version, answered everything that was asked, expressed his consent to undergo a polygraph test – and expressed his deep sorrow for the death of Yuval, z’l, and asked to convey his sincere condolences to the grieving family.”
“The video clips from the scene of the attack published on social media and their camera angles create a partial and misleading impression that does not reflect what was seen and heard from the soldier’s direction. The additional shooting by the soldier towards Yuval, z’l must be examined according to all the circumstances and the real-time situation the soldier saw.”
“From where the soldier was standing, from the sights he saw and the sounds he heard, he was completely convinced that he was firing at a terrorist who still posed a life-threatening risk to him and everyone around him. He had no intention of carrying out an ‘extrajudicial killing’ and that wasn’t how he acted. Immediately after he saw that that person was hit and was lying down, he stopped firing.”
“After hearing the soldier’s testimony, we have no doubt that under these extremely unusual circumstances, the Military Advocate General’s Office will also reach the clear conclusion that, with all the deep sorrow for the terrible result, this is a tragic mistake that does not justify taking criminal measures against the soldier.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)