Justices deny Katz family's petition

High Court upholds Peres's decision to commute life sentences handed down to 14-year-old Danny Katz's murderers.

supreme court 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
supreme court 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The High Court of Justice on Monday rejected a petition by the family of Danny Katz, the 14-year-old boy who was kidnapped and killed in December 1983 by five Israeli Arabs. The family had asked the court to nullify a decision by President Shimon Peres to commute the original life sentences handed down to all five, and set it at 30 years for the first three men, Samir and Fathi Janameh and Ali Gnaem, and 45 years for Ahmed Kozli and Ataf Sabihi, who were also convicted of the murder of Daphna Carmon. In their petition, the family charged that the information given to the special committee appointed to commute the sentences had been incorrect and that therefore, Peres had based his decision on incorrect facts. The court, headed by Justice Edmond Levy, ruled that the prerogative of the president of the state was particularly broad when it came to pardons and commuting sentences. Furthermore, said the court, the information on which the committee based its recommendation had not been deliberately falsified. Therefore, the court did not have reason to interfere with the president's decision.