The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Monday convicted two police officers of negligent homicide for dumping an injured Palestinian man on the side of the road, leaving him to die.
Judge Haim Liran rejected the testimony by Chief Inspector Baruch Peretz, who was the officer on duty at the Rehovot police station on June 12, 2008, when he ordered a low-ranking policeman, Assaf Yakutieli, to throw Omar Abu Jariban out of a police vehicle, on the side of the road. Abu Jariban died of dehydration some time later.
Prior to the incident, Jariban was seriously injured in a car accident on May 28, 2008, while driving a stolen car on Route 6, near the Soreq interchange. He had been in Israel illegally. He was hospitalized at the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer where he remained for two weeks before he was released into the custody of Rehovot police officers. He still required medical care and rehabilitation, and was apparently in a state of confusion.
Police, who did not know the identity of the patient-suspect, ultimately decided to admit him to the Israel Prison Service’s medical facility. But it turned out there was no room for him there. So officers from the Rehovot station, which had assumed responsibility for investigating the accident and the car theft, drove Jariban to the West Bank. They eventually left him, late at night, at the side of road 45 near the Ofer military base. His body was discovered two days later.
On Monday, the judge convicted Peretz and Yakutieli of negligent homicide and said that their testimonies in the case were “embarrassing” and “forlorn.”
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