Israel lets convicted commander walk

PressTV -Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:55PM

 

Israeli officer Lt. Col. Omri Burberg sits in a military court room in Tel Aviv, Israel Thursday, July 15, 2010. (file photo)
Israel has cut loose an army commander who has been convicted of involvement in shooting a bound Palestinian point-blank in the occupied West Bank.

Instead of sentencing him to prison, a Tel Aviv military court announced on Thursday that Lieutenant Colonel Omri Burberg cannot be eligible for a promotion in military rank for two years and is not allowed to command troops for one year, Ha’aretz reported.

The verdict comes while an active prison sentence had earlier been sought for Burberg.

Last July, the Israeli officer was found guilty after a video showed his involvement in the shooting of Palestinian demonstrator Ashraf Abu Rahman in the West Bank village of Na’alin back in 2008.

Abu Rahman was reportedly detained during a rally in protest at Israel’s separation wall. Burberg took the Palestinian man to the entry of the village, where he was bound and blindfolded.

The Israeli officer then stood the prisoner on his feet, led him to a nearby jeep and told Staff Sergeant Leonardo Korea, to fire a rubber bullet at his leg.

Burberg was transferred following the incident from his post in Battalion 71 to the armored corps training grounds at Tze’elim in southern Israel. Korea was also demoted to private rank.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Abu Rahman plans to appeal the new sentence passed on Burberg.

“That is not a conviction – it’s nothing,” Abu Rahman said after the Thursday’s court session. “I really thought both would be punished, but with deep sorrow the court has ruled in their favor.”

MP/MRS/MMN

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PressTV – Israel lets convicted commander walk.

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