Lenient penalty for threat to murder relative of terror victim

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher; Photo credit: Honenu

Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 14:15 A lenient plea bargain of only five day’s imprisonment was settled between the Military Advocate General and Yatta resident Haitham Eid Mur, a relative of Muhammad Mur, the terrorist who murdered Susiya resident Ya’ir Har Sinai, Hy”d, in July 2001. According to the bill of indictment, Haitham phoned a relative of Har Sinai and threatened to kill him – “I’m going to murder you” – and made additional threats. The threats were made in light of a dispute over pasture land in the Har Hevron region.
When Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Har Sinai, found out about the indictment, he immediately sent a letter to the Military Advocate General and was surprised to discover that the prosecution intended to release the suspect in a plea bargain arrangement on the same day.
Bleicher sent the letter before the plea bargain was settled and informed the Military Advocate General that the complainant [Har Sinai] intends to object to the arrangement. The prosecution did not transfer the details of the proceedings to Bleicher and thus prevented the complainant from objecting. The details of the plea bargain were transferred to Bleicher only after the verdict was handed down and after he directly contacted the Military Court with a demand to stop the plea bargain. In his letter to the court, Bleicher wrote, “The crime of a threat, unlike a regular crime in the law book, also has future consequences, and I emphasize that according to the laws of the Yehuda and Shomron regions, the penalty set for this crime is more severe [than it is within the green line]. The petitioner has a sincere and serious concern that the defendant will attempt to carry out his threat.
“Releasing the defendant without any restrictions, in practice declares an open season on the petitioner and endangers him, his family, and the rest of the Jewish residents of the area. This is an unusual case in which the court must take into consideration the urgent need [for deterrence] and its great responsibility for the security of the area and of its citizens when determining the penalty.”
In addition to five day’s imprisonment, Haitham was fined 1,200 NIS, obligated to pay 500 NIS in compensation to the complainant, and given a suspended sentence which he will have to carry out if he commits another crime.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher sharply criticized the agreement: “The plea bargain agreement which releases the suspect is an extremely serious failure. The suspect threatened to murder my client and there is a genuine concern that he will try to carry out his threat. One of the suspect’s relatives participated in the murder of Ya’ir Har Sinai, Hy”d, the father-in-law of my client. [Ya’ir Har Sinai’s] murderer was killed by the IDF when they attempted to detain him. In a case such as this, one cannot remain indifferent and rely on the ruling customary in Israel [within the green line] as a valid reason to release the suspect.
“We regret that the Military Advocate General did not demand that the suspect receive the penalty existing in military law [military law is in effect in the Yehuda and Shomron regions] for a murder threat (seven years), because releasing the suspect constitutes an immediate and tangible danger to my client.”

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