Plea bargain in neo-Nazi case: 4 youths convicted

Ynet News, Israel/April 10, 2008

As part of plea bargain, Tel Aviv District Court convicts four youths for their involvement in neo-Nazi gang; charges include conspiracy to commit a crime, assault, incitement to racism.

As part of a plea bargain reached with the State Prosecutor's Office, the Tel Aviv District Court Thursday convicted four of eight youths involved in a neo-Nazi gang. The four youths, including Alex Flich, 20, from the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron, as well as three other minors, were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, assault and incitement to racism.

The State Prosecutor's office had negotiated with the youths' defense council for a plea deal in recent months, but only four members of the gang ultimately agreed to accept the plea bargain. The four are expected to serve sentences of between 15 months to four and-a-half years in prison for their offenses, as determined by Justice Zvi Gurfinkel.

The four additional members of the neo-Nazi gang face harsher criminal charges. Plea bargain negotiations are ongoing in their case as well, but they have been hitherto unsuccessful.

Shocking indictment leads to new legislation

Details of this harrowing case were first published in September 2007, when police arrested eight youths, ranging in age from 16 to 21, who sadistically targeted and attacked drug abusers, homosexuals, foreign workers, religious Jews and youths with a 'goth' appearance.

The indictment against the group also indicated that 19-year-old Eli Bunyatov, nicknamed "The Nazi", who acted as ringleader for the gang, had planned to organize a ceremony marking Hitler's birthday, during which "he and his friends would make a pledge to Hitler and all members of the Aryan race to defend all members of the race to their dying breath."

On one occasion, read the indictment, one member of the neo-Nazi gang targeted an Asian foreign worker who was speaking on a pay-phone and punched him repeatedly in the head. The other gang members stood by and photographed the bloody attack. The gang later attacked two other foreign workers, smashing a glass bottle on one of their heads. Smoke grenades and materials used to make explosive devices were also found at one of the youths' homes.

These shocking accounts led MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) to propose a bill outlawing all neo-Nazi gatherings. The bill, which indicated that all neo-Nazi gatherings, incitement, and propaganda will be outlawed in Israel, had passed in the Knesset last month. It was later amended to outlaw all forms of racism and incitement, and not neo-Nazi ideologies alone.

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