An Israeli police detective “has been charged with beating a Palestinian minor to get him to confess to throwing rocks at cars driven by Israelis,” reported Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The paper noted that “despite the seriousness of the offense, the Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers charged the detective with a lesser assault crime,” namely simple assault, which carries a maximum punishment of two years in prison.
The detective “could have been charged with a number of more serious offenses, including aggravated assault, that could result in prison terms of three or four years”. Nor was he suspended from active duty.
The only reason the assault came to light is that “a voice recording of the interview-under-duress was found in the police case files given to the suspect’s lawyer” – a “presumably accidental” recording, Haaretz stated, according to Days of Palestine.
“In the recording, detective Yehuda Gigi can allegedly be heard beating the Palestinian, who was around 17 years old,” leading to the “complaint to the ministry’s unit for investigations of police.”
As a result of the assault, the Palestinian youth gave the police detective the desired confession.
“I confessed because he beat me,” the teen told his lawyer, only after she asked him about it when she listened to the recording. The youth was sentenced by a military court to ten months in prison.
The assault took place in November 2016, when the teen and his cousin, who hail from Salfit near Ariel settlement, were arrested on suspicion of throwing stones at settlers’ vehicles.