Beitar fans convicted of arson of team's offices

J'lem district court convicts Evyatar Yosef, Matan Navon of racism-motivated arson attack on team's management offices.

May 29, 2013 02:47
1 minute read.
FANS OF Betar Jerusalem shout slogans during a match against the Arab team Bnei Sakhnin

Fans shout at Betar Jerusalem match 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Jerusalem District Court convicted Evyatar Yosef and Matan Navon on Tuesday of a racism-motivated arson attack on the management offices of Beitar Jerusalem as part of a plea bargain deal.

The defendants admitted to all allegations in an amended indictment but denied membership in the far-right nationalistic fan group La Familia.

Critically, they admitted that their actions were motivated by wanting to protest the soccer team’s hiring of Chechen Muslim players Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev.

The plea bargain deal did not include any agreement regarding punishment for the crimes.

Yosef, 21, is a resident of Moshav Ruha and Navon, 23, is a resident of Kiryat Gat.

The two defendants carried out the arson attack late at night on February 7, donning gloves, neck warmers and ski masks to disguise their appearance. They had earlier driven to a gas station and filled two large bottles with gasoline, covered them with plastic and placed them in the trunk of the car.

They parked the car a few minutes away from the management offices and on their way, each of the defendants took an envelope from a mailbox for kindling. They broke the office windows, lit the envelopes on fire, threw in the gasoline bottles and fled the scene.

One suspect added that the arson was planned and not a spontaneous act.

Of the two, Yosef was considered more dangerous and more of the initiator in the attack. Nivon was considered less of a threat and was released to house arrest in April because of his clean record.

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