Rivlin Turns Down Azaria’s Request for Pardon

Elor Azaria
Sgt. Elor Azaria at the courtroom of the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv in January. (Flash90)

President Reuven Rivlin decided on Sunday to reject the request of IDF sergeant Elor Azaria for pardon from a manslaughter conviction for killing a neutralized Palestinian terrorist last year.

Azaria appealed to President Rivlin for a pardon last month.

Azaria was sentenced to 18 months for manslaughter in February, but that was reduced to 14 months by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot in September; but the president, who said he would consider the case after Eisenkot, has the authority to reduce it further or release him immediately.

Rivlin said he took that into account, along with the decision of the trial judges, combined with the fact that Azaria will face a review panel that will consider his release in three months.

“Any further reductions in the sentence of Azaria would harm the integrity of the IDF and the State of Israel,” wrote Rivlin.