Supreme Court Judge Hayut
TA District Court Judge Gorfinkel
Court commutes African asylum-seeker's 'deterring' sentence
TA District Court judge sentences Nigerian man to harshest robbery-related punishment as 'deterrent'; Supreme Court intervenes, reduces sentence by 10 months

The Supreme Court has decided to commute the sentence given to a Nigerian migrant convicted of theft in Tel Aviv by the city's District Court.


Last month, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Zvi Gorfinkel sentenced Nigerian asylum-seeker Aguko Tzaguki to the maximum sentence of three and-a-half years in prison for the crime.


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Tzaguki was convicted of mugging a transgender person providing sexual services at the city's old central bus station, while lightly injuring him in the leg.


He was convicted of regular robbery, but was given the harsh punishment due to what the District Court said were aggravated circumstances. Judge Gorfinkel noted in the ruling that it is important to treat foreign criminals in the vicinity of the bus station with severity, as a deterrent.


The judge wrote, "the only mitigating circumstances are the culprit's marital and refugee statuses, but this fact also warrants harsher punishment in light of the advantage taken of his illegal presence in Israel to commit a serious offense."


Tzaguki appealed and Supreme Court Judges Esther Hayut, Yitzhak Amit and Daphne Barak-Erez held a deliberation on the case last Thursday and published their decision on Sunday.


The Supreme Court judges determined that the sentence handed down by District Court Judge Gorfinkel was harsh in relation to the crime Tzaguki committed.


As a result, and with the State's approval, the Nigerian man's sentence was reduced by 10 months.



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