IDF officer sentenced for stealing equipment off Marmara

First lieutenant receives 5 months in prison, NIS 700 fine, demotion to rank of private for theft of laptops, photographic lenses and compass.

mavi marmara 311 AP (photo credit: AP)
mavi marmara 311 AP
(photo credit: AP)
An IDF soldier who confessed to stealing electronic equipment from the Mavi Marmara ship after it was impounded following the May 31 flotilla raid was sentenced by the Ground Forces Military Court to five months in prison on Monday.
In a plea bargain struck with military prosecutors, the soldier, a cadet in an officer’s training course, confessed to plotting to steal equipment ahead of time, and arriving on the ship with a bag to carry the loot.
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At the time of the offense, he was a section commander at a basic training base.
The Mavi Marmara was the flagship of the Gaza-bound “aid” flotilla that was intercepted by Israel Navy commandos on May 31.
Activists on board stabbed and beat soldiers who descended onto the ship from a helicopter, leading to a clash in which nine men on the ship were killed.
The Mavi Marmara was towed to Ashdod Port and searched, before IDF cadets were brought to clean and organize its interior.
In August, the Military Police received intelligence that goods stolen from the ship had been offered for sale, and opened an investigation, leading to the arrests of two soldiers and an officer suspected of trading in the looted equipment.
The convicted soldier, who cannot be named, confessed to stealing a laptop computer, two camera lenses and an encoder.
He apologized Monday to the military court, and said that his biggest punishment was being denied the chance of becoming an officer, and letting down his commanders. He also expressed regret for staining the image of the IDF.
In addition to the prison sentence, he will be demoted to private and fined NIS 700.