Michael Mor
Photo: Gil Nehushtan

4 policemen convicted of targeting crime boss

Haifa District Court finds three detectives, one police officer guilty of conspiracy to committee aggravated assault for placing explosive device under known Nahariya felon's car

The Haifa District Court convicted police detectives Eldad Hadad, Rami Musa and Yossi Levy and police officer Yaniv Ashur of conspiracy to committee aggravated assault against known Nahariya felon Michael Mor. A forth defendant, a civilian, was found not guilty.


The case dates back to November 2007, when the officers were first arrested on suspicion of planting an explosive device under Mor's car in retaliation to a grenade being hurled at one of the detectives' homes.


The investigation and subsequent indictments sent shockwaves through the Israel Police, and according to police Internal Affairs Bureau sources, the case was one of the gravest ever seen by the IAB.

The defendants (Photo: Gil Nehushtan)


The defendants maintained their innocence throughout the investigation and trial, claiming self-defense, but the court rejected the claim, saying the device planted under Mor's car was meant to be deadly, thus proving that their act were premeditated.


"(The evidence) clearly points to the fact that the defendants wanted to take vengeance against Mor for continuingly evading justice and threatening them and their comrades," noted the court Monday.


The court further found that the Nahariya Police's ineptitude in dealing with the local crime gangs and the threat they pose to police officers and their families was indicative of "a systematic failure".


"It is not up to this court to examine the professional conduct of the top commanding echelon within the Israel Police, but nevertheless, the testimonies and evidence paint a problematic picture of the Nahariya Police," said the court.


'Even police can't take law into own hands'

Attorney Avital Ben Nun, who represented convicted officer Yaniv Ashur, was no surprised by the verdict. "A brave ruling was needed here, but it was obvious that such a verdict would not be given. We will study the verdict and move forward. The case did not end with this session."


The lawyer added that it is unfortunate that the officers had to defend themselves when no one else would do it for them. "It was the officers' families at stake. What were they expected to do? Wait until the criminal is standing with the next grenade in hand before acting?"


Even before the verdict was read officer Eldad Hadad reiterated his claim that the explosive devices were not meant to be deadly. "I didn't mean to cause any harm or damage in any way. Everything that was done was done out of lack of choice, out of self defense, and for the protection of justice, civilians, police in general, my family and myself."


The prosecutor, Attorney Moshe Saada expressed his satisfaction with the verdict: The court has ruled that even police officers cannot take the law into their own hands.


"While the judges did address the circumstances that led them to carry out these acts, the bottom line is the conviction and the recognition of the fact that the explosive devices could have caused death."


פרסום ראשון: 07.13.09, 10:40
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