Israeli PM calls for pardon of convicted soldier

Israeli PM calls for pardon of convicted soldier

By Tharushan Fernando

05 Jan, 2017 | 8:27 am

Israeli P.M Benjamin Netanyahu has called for a pardon of Elor Azaria. the soldier found guilty of manslaughter.

Elor Azaria could face a 20-year prison sentence for shooting and killing a wounded Palestinian last year.

6941113896782640360no“I support granting a pardon to Elor Azaria,” said Netanyahu.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, who has the authority to issue pardons said that he will wait for the legal process to run its course before making a decision.

“In the event that a pardon should be requested, it will be considered by the president in accordance with standard practices and after recommendations from the relevant authorities,” he said in presidential statement.

In delivering her verdict, Colonel Maya Heller rejected all of Azaria’s defence arguments, saying “the fact that the man on the ground was a terrorist does not justify a disproportionate response”.

Abdul Fattah al-Sharif was laying overpowered on the ground when he was shot. The shooting was filmed by activists from the Israeli B’Tselem human rights group.Al-Sharif and another Palestinian his age were shot as they allegedly lunged at an Israeli soldier guarding a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.