Remand extended for soldier who allegedly returned gun

Soldier suspected of secretly returning a handgun Ashkenazi had received as agift from an American officer.

By
October 10, 2010 03:27
1 minute read.
Some of the stolen firearms retreived.

stolen guns. (photo credit: Israel Police)

 
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A soldier arrested on suspicion of secretly returning a stolen handgun to the IDF Chief of General Staff’s office was ordered to remain in custody for four days by a military court on Friday.

The soldier, who distributes newspapers at the Ministry of Defense’s intelligence bureau, has denied the suspicions against him, as well as ever entering the ministry’s 14th floor, where Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi’s office is located. He has offered to undergo a lie detector test to prove his innocence.

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He was arrested earlier this week by the Military Police, one year after the pistol, a gift from an American officer to Ashkenazi, went missing.

Following the theft last year, an investigation led to the arrest of IDF soldier Louis Maskota, who later confessed to stealing the firearm and selling it to a group of Israeli Arabs.

Maskota’s “clients” became furious after finding out that the weapon could not fire, leading Maskota to steal an M-16 from a soldier and transferring it to them, he said during his trial.

Four months ago, while Maskota was in custody, the missing gun mysteriously reappeared in Ashkenazi’s office, in the same cupboard from which it was stolen.

The affair caused much embarrassment within the IDF and Ministry of Defense due to its exposure of apparent security lapses around Ashkenazi’s bureau.

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