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Photo: Yariv Katz
The Duvdevan soldier
Photo: Yariv Katz
Duvdevan soldier who accidentally killed friend gets 18 months
Sergeant N., who shot Sgt. Shachar Strug to death in a gun play incident in their barracks, sentenced to 18 months in prison, 12 months of probation and demoted to rank of private under plea deal.

The Duvdevan Unit combat soldier who accidentally shot his friend Shachar Strug to death was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Wednesday under a plea deal.

 

 

In addition, Sergeant N. received 12 months of probation and was demoted to the rank of private.

 

The verdict laments the "tragic incident; one shot that cut the lifeline of the deceased."

  

The Duvdevan soldier (Photo: Yariv Katz)
The Duvdevan soldier (Photo: Yariv Katz)

 

"Shachar was taught to love the country and others, he was a member of the Scouts and wanted to have a meaningful military service. He did everything to serve in the Duvdevan Unit. The heavy loss accompanies his family and friends," the judges noted.

 

Regarding the soldier who killed Strug, the judges wrote that "The defendant's record is impeccable. Since the incident, he has been endlessly mourning the loss of his best friend and the loss of the relationship with the Strug family, which was like his own family... the defendant's suffering is recognized as well." 

 

The soldier's attorney noted after the verdict that "The pain, the sorrow and the grief will forever remain. The defendant experienced terrible emotional agony. The verdict is a relief, but his pain will last for years."

 

Another one of the soldier's lawyers noted the mediation process, in which Strug's father took part as well, which helped lead to the plea agreement.

 

Staff Sergeant Shachar Strug
Staff Sergeant Shachar Strug

 

During a court hearing on Monday, the soldier relayed a message to Strug's family and burst into tears.

 

"It's important for me to talk to them and say that I'm sorry," he said. "Shachar and I were best friends. He was not just a comrade, but a friend for life. What hurts the most is that no matter what I do, I will never be able to heal their pain. I just want to tell them I'm sorry and I love them. I hope that in the future they will be able to forgive me, if possible."

  

In his initial statement, the soldier told investigators that "it was accident, not gunplay. We practiced drawing a gun in a room on-base, as is common in the unit. He's my best friend and I didn't know it was loaded."

 

He confessed to his commanders immediately after the shooting: "What have I done? I killed my friend, I ruined my life. We had a gun-draw battle."

 

Because of Sergeant N's combat service and his impeccable past behavior, he received a relatively light sentence. However, the IDF investigation committee that examined the circumstances surrounding the death of Sgt. Strug painted a very disturbing picture of gunplay at the elite unit, which led to a series of severe punishments following the affair, including the dismissal of a company commander and a platoon commander, and the termination of the brigade commander's appointment.

 

 


First published: 07.04.18, 13:05
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