Attorney Ilan Katz, who is heading the defense team for the soldier who last Thursday shot a wounded terrorist in Hevron, said on Wednesday that the soldier's lawyers will not agree to him being stood on trial for homicide.
In the incident, the soldier was filmed by an Arab activist for the radical leftist NGO B'Tselem shooting a terrorist, who minutes earlier together with an accomplice stabbed and wounded a soldier. The soldier has argued he shot the terrorist over concerns he was moving to detonate a bomb belt that was thought to be hidden under his unseasonable coat.
That version of events was vindicated by a Magen David Adom (MDA) investigative committee, which found concerns that the terrorist had a bomb had not been ruled out. Experts have backed the soldier's actions, and hundreds of protesters have demanded his release.
"I hope that he will not be stood on trial," Katz told Channel 10 in an interview. "But in any case we will not agree to any compromise on (him being charged with) crimes of homicide. There is no basis to accuse him of crimes of manslaughter, at the very most there was a mistake in judgement here."
The attorney noted that in a hearing on Tuesday to extend the soldier's detention the murder clause was never even raised by the prosecutors, even though in a hearing last Friday the soldier was accused of murder.
"In the first request to extend the detention (last Friday) it was specifically written that the soldier is suspected of murder charges. Yesterday it was written: 'illegal use of a weapon,' and 'illegal shooting.'"
Katz emphasized that "the military prosecutor understood already at this stage that they don't have any evidence that will help them prove the claims, and the court also shortened the detention extension request to just three days."
The military court in Qastina on Tuesday extended the soldier's detention to Thursday, but noted that the evidentiary foundation against him "is not unequivocal."
Despite the protest of hundreds of Israelis outside the court, the soldier was brought in to the hearing while handcuffed. However, during the long proceedings he was allowed to privately meet with his parents. He has been the subject of condemnation from IDF brass and politicians, with one of his prime accusers being Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud).