Photo: Guy Assayag
The Military Appellate Court on Wednesday overturned the conviction of a Kfir Brigade paramedic charged with attacking Palestinian residents during 2008 operational activity in Kfar Kadum, referring the case back to the Jaffa Military Court.
The judges ruled that because the Brigade Commander, Colonel Itai Virob, was reprimanded prior to the opening of Sergeant G.'s trial, his testimony may have directly or indirectly influenced the sentencing and subsequent punishment of 65 days in prison.
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Sergeant G., along with Kfir Brigade Deputy Commander Adam Malul were convicted of aggravated assault after it was revealed that they had hit Palestinians during military activity in the West Bank.
During Lt. Malul's trial, which was held first, Colonel Virob stated that "sometimes a slap or a blow to a Palestinian in order to calm them down are a reasonable courses of action."
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The statement stirred a storm among top military echelons, who reprimanded Virob even before Sergeant G.'s trial began.
In the appeal Sergeant G. filed after his conviction, the military advocacy claimed that the disciplinary action taken against Colonel Virob affected his testimony during the second trial, and made him change his statements.
The advocacy further claimed that legal proceedings during the sergeant's trial were faulty, and therefore called to reverse the conviction.
The judges accepted the plea, referring the case back to the Jaffa Military Court in order to examine whether the reprimand had influenced Colonel Virob's testimony. If the court finds that the act did in fact have a negative impact on the legal proceedings, the judges might convict Sergeant G. of a lighter offence, or acquit him of all charges.
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