(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)
On Thursday, August 7, 2008, an indictment was served against Lt. Col. Omri Borberg and Staff Sgt. L. in military court, following the incident in which a rubber bullet was used against a Palestinian detainee near Ni’lin.
The Investigative Military Police handled the case, and the results were also thoroughly examined by the military advocacy. Following the examination, the Military Advocate General, Brig. Gen. Avichai Mandelblit, conducted hearings with Lt. Col. Borberg’s and Staff Sgt. L.’s representatives.
The Military Advocate General determined that said incident reflects a severe moral failure of command, and requires that both, the officer and the soldier involved, will be tried in a military court, since an internal disciplinary trial will not be sufficient.
Since said incident is a severe case, Brig. Gen. Mendelblit considered the decision of the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, to reassign the battalion commander, effective immediately, which is significant action in itself.
Deriving from the general findings of the case, while also bearing in mind the significant actions already taken, the Military Advocate General decided to charge the participants with the offence of "unworthy conduct."
This decision is in accordance with the Israeli Supreme Court ruling, in which it was decided that that IDF command sanctions, which is a unique form of sanctioning, are sometimes more severe then their corresponding criminal sanctions.
It is also worth considering that significant actions have already been taken following the incident, and the heavy consequences that the defendants already bear. The trial is expected to begin in the near future.