The soldiers involved in the hazing of rookie soldiers in the battalion will be brought before the court for their remand hearing at the Military Court in Kastina where it is most likely the first plea bargains will be approved.
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The IDF Spokesman said that after examining the investigation material in relation to the deputy commander, the Military Advocate General ruled that disciplinary action should be taken against him. The court martial which was presided over by Givati Brigade Commander Colonel Ofer Levi found that the officer's actions did not indicate involvement in the current hazing scandal.
'Jokingly and without any intent to haze'
The dismissed officer was in no way involved in the current hazing scandal within the battalion and the decision to dismiss him was reached after it was revealed that he "jokingly and without any intent to haze" hit senior soldiers in the battalion. The battalion commander, who did know about the hazing, is continuing to serve in his current post.
"The Givati Brigade commander condemns these severe incidents completely," an IDF Spokesman statement noted.
"This kind of behavior is not acceptable in the IDF as a general rule and especially in the Givati Brigade. Over the last few days the issue of seniority is being taken care of from the root of the problem and all those involved will be held accountable."
The battalion commander, a lieutenant general, admitted during his interrogation that he received a warning letter from young soldiers in the brigade a few months ago.
In the letter, they described actions that were hurtful and insulting to the rookie troops, but according to the battalion commander, the acts described did not include physical violence.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz addressed the reported abuse case in the Givati brigade and said "this was not the first time this kind of abuse has happened and it won't be the last. We will continue to work to stop this kind of behavior."
The IDF Prosecution has already indicted four soldiers from the Brigade's Tzabar Battalion. The charges against the soldiers' include conduct unbecoming a soldier and aggravated abuse.
Military Police then arrested two additional soldiers from Givati Brigade's Tzabar Battalion, bringing the total number of suspects to 11.
The alleged incidents took place some four months ago, but the younger soldiers were apparently afraid to lodge a complaint.
According to the indictment, the defendants repeatedly forced the younger soldiers to climb 320 steps in the snow while carrying a sack filled with sand on their backs.
Over the last few days it was reported that some of the defendants' attorneys were making efforts to negotiate plea bargains with the prosecution which would see them admitting to the charges in exchange for lighter charges and a reduced sentence.
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