Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Rightists who raided IDF base strike plea

The five right-wing activists who were arrested in December 2011 for raiding the Ephraim Spatial Brigade base in the West Bank have struck a plea bargain with the State in order to avoid a harsh prison sentence.

The plea was filed with the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday and is now pending its approval.

According to the agreement with the prosecution, three of the activists, Akiva Cohen, Ephraim Heikin and Meir Ettinger, will serve three-to-five months in jail for their role in the raid and for illegally holding classified documents.

Elad Meir and David Zvi Eliyahu, who were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime for their involvement in gathering information on the base, will be fined and given a suspended sentence.

The State agreed to amend the indictments against all five, and drop the assault charges brought against them for allegedly attacking the division commander and his deputy.

The original indictment included multiple counts of assault, breaking and entering, conducting an illegal surveillance of a military facility – included in lieu of espionage charges; conspiracy to commit a crime and disturbing security forces on duty. 

A year on, and the State, which initially announced it intended to pursue the matter to the full extent of the law, agreed to a mitigated plea bargain.

Attorney David Halevy, for Elad Meir, told Ynet that the plea was "Proof that this case was ballyhooed as a major espionage case ended with nothing more than a whisper.",7340,L-4324932,00.html

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