Jerusalem DC sentences murderer

Posted: April 27, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Israel, Palestinians, West Bank

Shahar Butbika in court (courtesy: Ynet)

As a follow up to a previous story I ran about Supreme Court sentencing a Border Police soldier, involved in murdering a 17-years-old Palestinian. You might remember that four soldiers kidnapped Amran Abu Hamadiya, beat him and them threw him out of a moving vehicle, causing his death.

Jerusalem District court sentenced the main offender – officer Shahar Butbika – to eight and a half years in prison. Two others – Bassam Wahbee and Yanai Lazla – received sentences of four and a half years and six and a half months respectively. Dennis Alhazov – another officer, who documented the event, was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison.

According to the judge, Butbika was the dominant felon in the affair and significantly contributed to the youth’s death, but his mental situation was not good and he had been diagnosed as suffering from a mental crisis since he was released from detention in January 2004.

She added that the officer had been under full house arrest for more than five years and had never asked to ease his conditions or go out and work, which she said must also be taken into account.

As for Alhazov, the judge wrote that he deserved a severe punishment, as he did not confess to his part in the affair. Before the sentence was read, Alhazov told Ynet that he regretted what happened and was surprised he was convicted of kidnapping and killing although he did not take an active part in his friends’ actions.

The prosecutor, Attorney Moshe Saada, said after the sentence reading, “This is one of the gravest affairs in the history of the Border Guard. The court expressed its disgust and the society’s disgust with the actions described in the indictment.

“We are satisfied with the Alhazov’s sentence, as he was only present in the jeep, but Butbika was the one who shoved the youth and caused his death. We are disappointed with his sentence and plan to file an appeal with Supreme Court.”

No mental condition is enough to justify murdering a person, and Butbika should be no exception. He obviously should be forced to undergo psychiatric evaluations and treatment during his term, which should be increased to ten years – at least.


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