Comptroller's report: IDF prison sentences not always implemented

In review of court martial oversight and enactment of punishments, Joseph Shapira's report finds deficiencies.

July 17, 2013 15:58
1 minute read.
State Comptroller Joseph Shapira

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira’s report published on Wednesday found serious deficiencies in the IDF’s oversight process for military courts.

The report – which focuses on the defense establishment – also criticized the army’s failure to systematically implement the punishments meted out to soldiers, such as military prison sentences never served.

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In composing the report, Shapira visited and interviewed IDF officials in the Military Advocate General (MAG), the Office for Professionalism and Guidance for Artillery and the Tel Nof Air Force Base, as well as 40 officers undergoing training to preside over court martials.

The report alleged that there is no categorization system for the different kinds of court martial issues. Such a system would enable the military to better analyze specific trends in the implementation of military law, allowing it to highlight those areas in need of improvement.

Shapira’s report also said that many officers who preside over court martials failed to record the reasons for their verdict, failed to inform those being judged of their right to appeal and often were not familiar with basic rules dealing with evidentiary proceedings.

It also found that soldiers’ prison sentences were sometimes not carried out for lack of space or due to administrative errors.

At the same time, the report complimented the MAG on having made strides in recent years in raising the overall level of professionalism and education of those IDF officers that preside over court martials.

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