The High Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that the release of former IDF Colonel Ataf Zahar, who was convicted of raping a subordinate will be delayed pending a final decision on the appeals filed against the IDF's decision to grant him early release.
The ruling followed a heated hearing in which Zahar's bother accused the prosecutor of targeting his brother for being a Druze.
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The court's decision followed motions filed by the prosecution and the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel.
The court also ordered Zahar to list the reasons why he believes he should be granted early parole. The convicted officer was also asked to explain his stance regarding the possibility of participating in a Israeli Prison Service (IPS) rehabilitation program.
The military prosecutor was ordered to present the court with the proposed guidelines for Zahar's rehabilitation within two weeks.
The court informed both parties it will render its final ruling in the matter once all the information will be presented.
Ataf Zahar, once one of the IDF's most senior Druze officers, was convicted in of raping and sexually assaulting a female subordinate in 2006. He was sentenced to six years in prison, and demoted to the rank of a private. He was also ordered to pay his victim NIS 35,000 (roughly $9,700) in damages.
Earlier in August, a military judicial panel decided to mitigate Zahar's sentence by 18 months.
The State Prosecutor's Office appealed the decision, saying it was "grossly unreasonable and detrimental to the public's interest."
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