Omar Abu Jariban
Reproduction photo: B'Tselem
Policemen who left Palestinian for dead get jail time
Baruch Peretz and Assaf Yakutiel, who deserted wounded Palestinian detainee on the side of the road in 2008, to serve 30 months in prison

The Jerusalem District Court sentenced police officers Baruch Peretz and Assaf Yakutiel to 30 months in jail Monday, for their involvement in the death of Gaza resident Omar Abu Jariban, in 2008.


Jariban, who was an illegal Palestinian alien, found dead on the side of the on Highway 443, which connects Jerusalem and Modiin, near the Atarot Junction.


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Two weeks prior to his death, he was the victim of a car accident – which took place while he was driving a stolen car – and was hospitalized. Once stable, he was to be transferred to the Ofer detention facility. But he never arrived there.


According to the indictment, after the transfer order came through, the police officer in charge ordered – contrary to police procedure – that Jariban be transferred back to Gaza.


Chief Inspector Peretz tasked officer Yakutiel with the transport. The latter dropped Jariban near the detention facility, with no food or water and wearing noting but hospital pajamas.


He died of exposure and dehydration and was found dead two days later.


In May, the court convicted both of the officers of depraved indifference and negligent homicide: "The defendants knew that this was not a well man and still acted as they did," the ruling said.


"Their behavior was appalling. The court cannot fathom how they saw fit to leave another human being, so clearly in distress, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, as if he were nothing but an object to dispose of," the court said.


The court said that the sentencing considered the two officers' families, "Who have been in great financial difficulties since their arrest and suspension from the police force."


The court further noted that while sentences given in similar cases are usually within the scope of several months, the defendants' behavior in this case constituted special circumstances.


Attorney Zadok Hugi, who represented Peretz, said that the sentence was unprecedented and that he will contest its severity.


The prosecution, however, welcomed the ruling: "The court has spoken and the ruling reflects the severity of the act. It is the price to be paid for this tragedy.



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