Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Appellate mediation fails in Azaria case

Efforts to resolve the pending cross-appeals in the high-profile court-martial case of IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria have (not surprisingly) failed, according to this Times of Israel report. Excerpt:
“At the end of the meeting it became apparent that the gaps between the sides are still significant and substantial, and don’t enable an agreement to be reached,” the army said. 
“An update to that effect will be delivered to the military appeals court.” 
No date has been set for the court to render its decision in the divisive case, which has revealed deep rifts in Israeli society. 
The army’s appellate court in Tel Aviv is led by a panel of three military judges, a major general and a brigadier general. 
The appeal hearings have at times been acrimonious, with the two sides trading barbs and, at times, raising their voices, but sources said Monday’s meeting was to the point and professional, despite being ultimately unhelpful.
Two interesting issues concern credit for time served and disciplinary "hold" pending the completion of appellate review:
For over a year, the soldier has been confined to base after being released from military house-arrest shortly after the March 24, 2016 incident. His time spent on base will not count toward his sentence, but nine days he spent in jail immediately after the killing will be deducted from his term, the judges ruled. 
Adding an element of complexity to the case, Azaria’s military service ends on July 20, meaning that if a verdict is not reached by then, he will no longer be able to remain confined to a military base. In such a case, the judges would need to decide if Azaria would remain under arrest and if so under what conditions.

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