Efforts made for mutual withdrawal of appeals on Azaria sentence
Five weeks after Elor Azaria sentenced to 18 months in prison for shooting and killing an incapacitated terrorist, efforts are now made on his behalf to reach an agreement with the prosecution that will finally put an end to the affair that has rocked the nation.
Moshe Israel, the lawyer who now represents Elor Azaria, is seeking a mutual withdrawal of the appeals filed by both the prosecution and Azaria's lawyer Yoram Sheftel against the soldier's 18-month sentence.
In a letter filed to the Military Advocate General by Israel, who was given power of attorney by Sheftel, the lawyer requested to open negotiations to reach the mutual withdrawal. The letter noted that it was sent with the knowledge and approval of Azaria and his family.
"I see great importance in reaching a quick agreement that would put an end to a storm that is rocking the country, the military, Azaria and his family," Israel told Yedioth Ahronoth, confirming that he was given power of attorney by Sheftel.
Sheftel's office also expressed willingness to come to an agreement between the two sides, stating that "since the Military Advocate General keeps hinting to the media that, if our appeal will be withdrawn, they will make sure to dramatically ease on Azaria in his serving of his sentence, we decided to do so if an offer by them is truly sent to us."
The Chief Justice of the Military Appeals Court, Maj. Gen. Doron Piles, will lead the judges' panel that will hear the two appeals in the Azaria case—the soldier's appeal's against his manslaughter conviction and the military prosecution's appeal of the lenient sentence given to Azaria.
Two non-military judges will also sit on the panel: Judge Yigal Plitman, who serves as the chief justice of the national labor court, and Judge Zvi Segal of the Jerusalem District Court.
Two IDF officers who are not jurists will complete the panel: Maj. Gen. (res.) Eyal Eizenberg, who served in his last role as the GOC Home Front Command, and Brig. Gen. Avi Peled, the former commander of the Golani Brigade.
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)