State Attorney Shai Nitzan (L)..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
More than two-and-a-half years after an IDF soldier shot and killed unarmed Palestinian Samir Awad, 16, in January 2013, the state informed the High Court of Justice on Monday that it is close to a decision on indicting the shooter and possibly additional suspects who were not previously considered.
The state informed the court that it had already held special pre-indictment hearings for the suspected soldiers on June 21 and June 23.
It asked the court for a further delay until at least September 10, to await the final decision to prosecute by State Attorney Shai Nitzan, because of the case’s “complexity and sensitivity.”
The human rights group B’Tselem, which has helped keep the case in the public eye, expressed disappointment that the state is delaying a decision on the case for several more weeks after more than two-and-a-half years of delays.
When the state initially announced in April that it would be holding pre-indictment hearings for the soldiers involved on possible charges of negligence and violations of open-fire regulations, B’Tselem called the charges “a new low,” upset that they did not include more serious charges like murder or manslaughter.
B’Tselem also criticized the state for not specifying which soldiers would be indicted. The state did not respond to a request for comment.
The case has been a black-eye for the state, as it tries to present its investigative apparatus to the world and particularly the International Criminal Court as objective and prompt with regard to alleged crimes by soldiers. It also comes at a time when the state’s leniency in dealing with extremist violence against Palestinians is under heavy scrutiny