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Anger as Murder Turns to Manslaughter in Arab Shooting

Arab youth who shot father-of-five in the back in cold blood is convicted of manslaughter, not murder.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 5/5/2013, 9:57 AM

Israeli court (illustrative)
Israeli court (illustrative)
Flash 90

An Arab youth from Ramle who shot and killed a Jewish neighbor has been convicted of manslaughter. The conviction angered the victim’s family, who had expected that the killer would be convicted of murder.

The youth was convicted of shooting 51-year-old George Sado in early 2012. Sado was out walking his dog when a group of Arab youths accosted him and began to curse him.

Sado ignored the youths and continued walking, but they remained to wait for him, and began speaking about shooting him. When he returned they resumed cursing him and shouting anti-Semitic insults.

The gang asked Sado if he had a gun. He told them he did not, and began walking away. One of the youths then shot him. According to his family, before he died Sado told them that one of the Arabs who shot him said, “We’re doing this because of what you’re doing in Gaza.”

Police said the murder was an ordinary criminal event, causing angry reactions from Sado’s family, who said the attack was a case of terrorism. The police response led to accusations that police were trying to cover up a terror war.

The main suspect, who is accused of actually firing the shots that killed Sado, was originally charged with murder. However, he was convicted only of manslaughter under a plea bargain.

Prosecutors agreed to the plea bargain due to the state’s difficulty in proving the murder charges following procedural problems regarding the youth’s testimony to police.

State prosecutors will seek a 12-year prison sentence and 140,000 shekel fine.

Sado’s family expressed anger at the verdict. His ex-wife called the manslaughter verdict “a joke.”

“We don’t accept the plea deal or the 12 years, and we don’t want the money. We want justice,” she told reporters following the trial. “At the entrance to the courtroom it says, ‘Justice, justice shall you pursue,’ and my son said, ‘Mom, what justice is there here? They took my father, they murdered him and they say it was manslaughter. There’s no way it was manslaughter, it was simply murder.’”