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Border Guard illustration Photo: Reuters
Border Guard illustration Photo: Reuters

Border Guard officers convicted for stealing from migrant

Officers convicted of stealing from Sudanese man, ordered to pay victim. Judge says 'abuse of power trend spreading'

Naama Cohen-Friedman
Published: 12.03.13, 17:39 / Israel News

Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court sentenced two Border Guard officers to six-month-prison terms which were converted into community service sentences for abusing their position to steal from a Sudanese migrant.


The officers, Matan Nachmani and Pinchas Eliyahu Yonatanov, were ordered to pay the victim NIS 4,000.


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According to the indictment, the two were on patrol on Neve Shaanan Street in Tel Aviv when they noticed a Sudanese migrant walking alone in the street. They demanded his identification documents and then asked him to follow them to a nearby building.


In the building they ordered him to stand facing the wall and searched him. During the search they discovered a large sum of money in his wallet. Nachmani took $200 and NIS 400 ($113) and gave half the amount to Eliyahu.


When they arrived back at the police station, they noticed the Sudanese man and realized he came to file a complaint against them. They therefore filed a false and misleading incident report.


"This is an especially ugly injury," stated the judge's ruling. "Considering the difference in power between the accused, two armed and uniformed men, who stood together against a man belonging to one of the weakest groups in our society – a refugee or an immigrant from a ravaged country, who carried with him his meager property," the ruling continued.


"The worsening policy of lawsuits with accusations of robbery in similar cases to this one is completely deserving, given the spread of the trend," the judge elaborated.



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