Border cops convicted of killing Hebron teen

Jerusalem court convicts two border policemen of killing 17-year-old Imran Abu Hamdia in 2002.

IDF Hebron great 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
IDF Hebron great 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Two border policemen were convicted of manslaughter Tuesday in a Jerusalem court for the kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teenager in Hebron six years ago, in a case that prompted international condemnation. The two men, Shahar Botabicka and Denis Alhazov, were among a group of four border policemen who detained 17-year-old Imran Abu Hamdia on December 30, 2002, ordered him to enter their jeep, beat him on the head, then shoved him out of the fast-moving vehicle. An autopsy overseen by a Danish pathologist concluded that Abu Hamdia died from a sharp blow to the skull, although it remained unclear whether the fatal wound was caused by his being thrown from the jeep or by the beating. The Jerusalem District Court also convicted the two border policemen of aggravated assault, abuse of authority and obstruction of justice. The court ruled that Alhazov, who filmed the attack on tape, was as guilty of manslaughter as his colleagues. "Although he was not a dominant participant, he was party to the plan, documenting his friends' acts... In his actions and omission he has made himself a part of the deceased's killing," Judge Orit Efal-Gabai wrote in her ruling. Prosecutor Moshe Saada said the court's ruling brought closure to one of the gravest affairs in the Border Police's history. "The verdict sets a certain precedent in convicting the officer who filmed the incident of manslaughter as it did the officer who instigated the abuse and violence," Shaada said. The defense said it would appeal the verdict. The two other border policemen previously convicted in the attack are serving prison terms of four-and-a-half and six-and-a-half years respectively. Their Border Police company, which was involved in a series of violent crimes against Palestinians in Hebron, was subsequently disbanded.