Ex-Gaza Division cmdr. spared demotion

Ex-Gaza Division command

Moshe Chico Tamir 248.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
Moshe Chico Tamir 248.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The Military Appeals Court on Tuesday partially accepted the appeal of former Gaza Division commander Brig.-Gen. Moshe 'Chico' Tamir, who was convicted of permitting his underage son to drive an IDF dune buggy and attempting to cover up a subsequent accident. According to Tuesday's court ruing, Tamir will be spared his demotion to the rank of colonel, but the promotion to the rank of major-general, as IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi had planned, will be delayed by two years. The judges in the appeal court 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." Tamir, who has had an exemplary combat career in the Golani Brigade, served as commander of the Gaza Division until several months before January's Operation Cast Lead, whose success he was credited for even though he was no longer in an active position in the division. 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 in May 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 criticized Tamir's conduct throughout the case, writing in their decision that his behavior undermined the basic military values of credibility and honesty. The 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, Judge Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit ordered his office to conduct an independent review of the MPs' management of the Tamir investigation.