Yoram Sgiftel with parents of Elor Azariya
Yoram Sgiftel with parents of Elor Azariya Yoni Kempinsky

Attorney Yoram Sheftel accused the army and the Chief Military Prosecutor of attempting to blackmail the family of Elor Azariya to prevent them from appealing his conviction for manslaughter.

Azariya was tried for manslaughter in an IDF court after shooting a wounded terrorist. The case caused much public controversy, which did not die down after he was sentenced to eighteen months in prison.

"The Chief Military Prosecutor has pledged not to appeal the sentence if we do not appeal [the verdict].," Sheftel said. "This is extortion. The members of the establishment acted together with their attack dogs in the media to prevent it, but they did not succeed, and the appeal was filed in the end."

"From the first moment they marked him as guilty, so any investigation [they would initiate would be] directed at convicting him and so could not arrive at the truth," he added.

Several members of Azariya's defense team resigned Wednesday over their opposition to the filing of the appeal against the verdict in favor of using alternative methods to reduce or commute the sentence.

Sheftel, who is Azariya's sole remaining defense attorney, submitted the appeal to the Military Court of Appeals Wednesday afternoon.

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