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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rabbi Ben-Artzi's 'abductors' get community service

The Beersheba District Court on Wednesday sentenced the four men indicted for the alleged abduction of Rabbi Nir Ben-Artzi, head of the "Talmei Geula" non-profit organization, to five months of community service each, after finding them guilty of fraudulently obtaining benefits.

The conviction was obtained as part of a plea bargain struck between the defense and the prosecution, which did not leave much of the original indictment that included multiple counts of abduction, extortion and fraud.

According to the amended indictment, the four – Shmuel Shukron, Zvi Weizmann, Shimon Katorza and Micha Petito – targeted Ben-Artzi after he began questioning their financial activities on behalf of the non-profit organization.
Their menacing of the rabbi stretched across three years, but the prosecution eventually opted to plead the case out in order to secure a conviction.

The court accepted the plea, sentencing each defendant to five months of community service and ordering each of them to pay the rabbi NIS 10,000 (roughly $2,700) in compensation.

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