Court Refuses Azaria Request for Delay of Jail Term

IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria (Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM - A Military Court of Appeals declined former IDF soldier Elor Azaria’s request for a delay in serving his sentence for manslaughter while awaiting Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot’s review of his case.

Eizenkot has agreed to consider commutation or reduction of the 18-month sentence for the killing of a neutralized terrorist in Chevron on March 24, 2016.

Azaria’s lawyer Yoram Sheftel argued that if the army chief rules favorably, his client may be spared any jail time whatsoever.

Military prosecutors on Monday opposed the request on grounds that it would set a bad precedent, resulting in other soldiers found guilty of a crime seeking delay of punishment pending requests for leniency.

“The immediacy of punishment is based on the discipline on which the military establishment rests. There is no justification for Azaria’s case to be different from those of other soldiers who request clemency; soldiers who only do so after they begin serving their sentences,” read a statement issued on Monday by the military advocate general.

It now appears that Azaria will begin serving his sentence in Prison 4 in Tzrifin on Wednesday.