Sgt. Elor Azaria

Sgt. Elor Azaria grilled in court for third day

Chief prosecutor engages in a back and forth with Azaria in effort to establish the time it took for him to decide to shoot the terrorist; Azaria: 'You are trying to catch me with words. I didn't have a timer.'

The cross examination of Sgt. Elor Azaria continued into its third and final day on Tuesday morning after two days of intense questioning by prosecutor Lt. Col. Nadav Weisman about the circumstances under which he shot dead a wounded terrorist in Hebron last March.



During the hearing in the special military court in Jaffa, Azaria denied that feelings of revenge had been the motivating factor in pulling the trigger. “If it was revenge I would have got closer and shot one bullet in his head,” he said before attacking once again his commanders who have testified against him. “The company commander Lt. Col. David Shapira lied to the court,” the court heard two days after he accused them of “throwing me to the dogs.”


When he was asked why, in his opinion, Shapira would have lied, Azaria answered: “He is scared of what the world will say and because he is about to start a new job.”


Sgt. Elor Azaria (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Sgt. Elor Azaria (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


At the beginning of the hearing, the prosecutor played the video produced by the Division of Identification and Forensic Science (DIFS) which combined with the original video of the incident filmed by B’Tselem with that filmed by the ambulance driver Ofer Ohana.


Concealing any signs of emotion, Azaria watched over and over the video showing him shooting the terrorist: “I was loaded. I had a helmet in my hand and gave it to my friend in an instinctive reaction. The rest of my actions were automatic according to how I was trained.”


Prosecutor Weisman: “In the video we see you act slowly without expressions of concern.”


Azaria: “That is your opinion. You weren’t in the field. If I had shot for my own personal reasons I would have shot him point blank in the head.”


MK Oren Hazan with Sgt. Azaria (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
MK Oren Hazan with Sgt. Azaria (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


Responding to Weisman’s question Azaria said he shot the terrorist not only because he heard people shouting, ‘He has a bomb on him’, but because the terrorist made him suspicious. “There were other reasons,” he said. “I didn’t know then who had shouted. Today I know that Ofer Ohana shouted.”


Weisman pressed Azaria by pointing out that two minutes had passed between the shouting about the bomb and the shooting itself, which contradicted the testimony offered by Azaria who claimed a mere seconds passed.


Azaria: “Once again you are catching me with words. When I say a fraction of a second I mean a moment. I didn’t stand there with a timer in the field.”


Prosecutor: “You preached to me yesterday that in the field decisions are made within seconds. Today you confirmed for me that the decision to shoot was taken in a second or in seconds. According to the objective findings you decided to shoot the terrorist two minutes before you shot.”


Azaria: “These are your insights. I didn’t decide that I will go an shoot the terrorist two minutes before the shooting. The videos, taken together, don’t show anything.”


Prosecutor: When did you decide to shoot the terrorist? A second before, 10 seconds before, two minutes before?


Azaria: The moment I realized that there was a clear and present danger. It doesn't work in the field the same way it works here. I can't answer if it was a second or a few seconds before. For example, lets say I hit someone. Ask him when he felt like he was in any danger of getting hit. He won't know how to answer.


Prosecutor: That answer isn't good enough. The burden of blame is upon you. You shot the terrorist.



פרסום ראשון: 07.26.16, 15:46
 new comment
This will delete your current comment