6 months probation in plea bargain for TA lawyer

Haim Stanger convicted of threatening neighbor.

The Tel Aviv Magistrates’ Court sentenced to six months’ probation on Tuesday Haim Stanger, the well-known Tel Aviv lawyer originally indicted on charges of attempting to harm a Family Court judge and a neighbor.
Stanger was sentenced after agreeing to a plea bargain in which he admitted to the lesser charge of threatening his neighbor, with whom he had a long-time feud.
The amended charge sheet Stanger agreed to in the plea bargain does not include the more serious charges – including an attempt to hire a client to harm a judge – of which police and the prosecution originally accused him.
Stanger caused a stir in the legal community when he was arrested in January and remanded in custody as police investigated allegations that he hired one of his clients, a man with a police record, to harm a neighbor.
Police also investigated suspicions that Stanger wanted to hire the same client to harm Ramat Gan Family Court Judge Tova Sivan, with whom he has a longstanding feud.
In the original charge sheet filed six months ago by the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s office, prosecutors accused Stanger of soliciting serious bodily harm to his neighbor and threatening the same neighbor after a dispute.
The prosecution also alleged that Stanger had solicited bodily harm against Sivan.
Sivan had testified to police investigators that she felt threatened by Stanger.
After being remanded in custody, Stanger was released initially to full house arrest and later to partial house arrest with a curfew.
According to the plea bargain agreed upon between state prosecutors and Stanger’s lawyers – Avigdor Feldman and Mickey Hova – Stanger admitted to the lesser charge of threatening his neighbor in return for a suspended sentence and fine.
Feldman told the court that there were “significant evidentiary difficulties” in the case, and added that his client, Stanger, was damaged by the original charge sheet which had been published in the media.
Feldman also noted that Stanger had a “great reputation” as a lawyer.
Judge Hadassa Naor sharply reprimanded Stanger for threatening his neighbor and reminded the court that the original charges against the lawyer had been very serious.
The judge also said that she had not received a clear explanation as to why the charges in the amended indictment were so different from those in the original charge sheet, but added that the evidence against Stanger was “shaky.”
In sentencing Stanger to six months’ probation, Naor included the conditions that Stanger should not be involved in any crime of violence, threats or malicious damage for three years.
The court also ordered Stanger to pay a fine of NIS 5,000 to his neighbor.