The Petah Tikva District Court yesterday upheld the plea bargain in the case against twin brothers Adir and Naor Sudmi, who were charged with the killing of 7-year-old Leon Kalantarov.
Due to problems with the evidence, a plea bargain was reached, with the brothers, 24, being charged with manslaughter and thus avoiding life terms in prison. Adir will serve 19 years in prison and Naor 22 years.
In early 2010, the body of Leon Kalantarov was found in the home of his neighbors in the southern community of Bnei Aish. The autopsy showed that Kalantarov had died of asphyxiation, which is believed to have occurred during an indecent assault by the two brothers.
In their sentencing, the judges wrote that the prosecutors had faced significant problems with the evidence and were unable to prove the charges of murder - both because it was impossible to prove the role of each of the brothers in the incident, and also because no signs of violence were found on the corpse.
The judges ruled that the brothers would lure the child with candy and computer games, and that the child knew them and was not afraid of them. This had cost him his life, they said.
The judges also noted that the two were moderately mentally handicapped and had admitted to the charges attributed to them following a number of court sessions.
"By their behavior, they caused the death of a child, born in 2002, who is survived by parents who are pained and whose lives have been irreversibly altered," the judges wrote in their ruling.
"The failure of the system has been exposed; and had it devoted more attention to the behavior of the defendants following the filing of the first complaint, which would have removed them from society and placed them in proper care, this terrible disaster could perhaps have been averted."
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