The Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday approved the plea bargain agreement between the state and the Perinian brothers and sentenced them to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit a crime.
"We have decided to honor the agreement, primarily because of the confessions of the accused in which they accepted responsibility for conspiring to commit a crime and said they were prepared to compensate the widow of Pinhas Buhbut," Judges Avraham Tal, Judith Amsterdam and Ruth Lebhar Sharon wrote.
Buhbut was allegedly shot and killed by rogue cop Tzahi Ben-Or and Shimon Elmekayis in 1999. The state originally charged Sharon and Oded Perinian with murder for allegedly having ordered the killing, but agreed to a plea bargain offer from the defense after concluding there was not enough evidence to guarantee a conviction.
According to the corrected indictment, the Perinian brothers were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime. In parenthesis, the crime was specified as murder. But the indictment made no causal connection between the conspiracy to commit a crime and Buhbut's murder.
Nevertheless, the state told the court it was important that the Perinian brothers had pleaded guilty to conspiring with Buhbut's killers because, for several years and on many occasions, they had claimed that the police had been making false accusations against them.
The court sentenced the Perinians to the maximum penalty of seven years in prison for the crime they were convicted of, but ruled that two of the years would be suspended. They have been held in jail since August 8, 2005, and those months of incarceration will be counted as part of the sentence. The Perinians will be eligible for parole in another year and 10 months.
The court also ordered them to pay NIS 100,000 to Buhbut's widow. It rejected their request to be allowed to spend a few days at home before beginning their prison terms.