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IDF's Azaria found guilty of manslaughter over shooting of terrorist

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 4:28
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DEBKAfile was founded by a team of journalists in June 2000 as an independent Internet Web site, providing an intelligence and security news service. January 4, 2017, 1:10 PM (IDT)

An IDF court on Wednesday found Sgt. Elor Azaria guilty of manslaughter over the fatal shooting of an immobilized terrorist in Hebron in March 2016. The decision was announced at 12:40pm after a nearly three-hour reading of the verdict by the lead judge, Col. Maya Heller. The court rejected the defense’s pathological evidence and ruled that Azaria caused the terrorist’s death. It also turned down all of the defense’s claims and accepted the testimony by commanders on the scene of the incident. The court ruled that Azaria was not in any danger; that the terrorist’s knife was far away from the terrorist when Azaria opened fire; that the terrorist’s coat was not suspicious considering the weather; and that the real motive for the shooting was Azaria’s revenge for the terrorist’s attempt to stab his friend. Col. Heller said that Azaria acted contrary to the rules for opening fire and gave inconsistent testimony. She rejected claims that the social, political or military discussion of the case had any effect on the court’s decision. As the verdict was read, hundreds of people demonstrated outside the court in Tel Aviv, with some demonstrators resorting to violence.  

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