Kohen Acquitted in Cemetery Assault Case

YERUSHALAYIM -

A religious Israeli was acquitted in an assault-and-battery case recently — due to the fact that he is a Kohen.

The Yerushalayim Magistrates Court two weeks ago dismissed charges against a local businessman accused of attacking his ex-friend at the cemetery in Beit Nekofa in 2012, Walla! reported Thursday.

The plaintiff’s friend testified that the defendant — Mr. Cohen — had come at him from within the cemetery.

But Mr. Cohen’s lawyers argued that as an observant Jew, the defendant couldn’t have been inside the cemetery, and that the injuries to his ex-friend were caused by someone else.

Judge Shmuel Herbst ruled for the defendant, citing his religious observance, along with other evidentiary factors casting doubt on the allegation,

“As it is known, Kohanim are forbidden from entering cemeteries because of the impurity of the dead there,” Judge Herbst explained. “The accused is a Kohen, and therefore the version of the events presented by the witness not only contradicts the complainant himself, but also the Torah prohibition directed at priests.”