Moshe Chico Tamir 248.88.
(photo credit: Channel 2)
A Military Appeals Court overturned a lower court's decision on Tuesday to demote former Gaza Division commander Brig.-Gen. Moshe "Chico" Tamir, who had been convicted for permitting his underage son to drive an IDF dune buggy and attempting to cover up a subsequent accident.
According to the appeals court ruling, Tamir will be spared the demotion but his promotion to the rank of major-general, as IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi had planned, will be delayed by at least two years. The IDF issued a statement saying that Ashkenazi would meet with Tamir in the coming days to discuss the officer's future in the military.
Tamir is considered one of the IDF's best field commanders and had an exemplary combat career in the Golani Brigade. He served as commander of the Gaza Division until several months before Operation Cast Lead earlier this year.
Tamir came under investigation last year after he allowed his 14-year-old son to drive a military dune buggy during a social meeting of division officers and their families. The boy crashed into a civilian vehicle and caused damage to the car. Tamir then attempted to keep the case silent and even claimed to have been the driver involved in the accident and not his son.
Tamir reached a plea bargain with prosecutors last month under which he was charged with unlawful use of a military vehicle and improper military conduct. The more severe charge of obstruction of justice was removed from the indictment.
The panel of judges in the lower court criticized Tamir's conduct throughout the case, writing in their decision that his behavior undermined the basic military values of credibility and honesty.
The lower court also harshly criticized the conduct of the Military Police, which conducted the investigation against Tamir, saying that it worked to diminish the severity of the case and treat it like a standard car accident when it included additional criminal elements.
In response, Military Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit ordered his office to conduct an independent review of the MP's management of the Tamir investigation.
The judges in the appeal court also criticized Tamir in their ruling and wrote that he "failed ethically as an officer and a commander."
Nevertheless, the judges mentioned Tamir's outstanding combat record and said that the lower court's decision was "too severe."