Court Extends Remand of Soldiers Suspected of Murder

A military tribunal gave a three-day extension Sunday to the remand of two soldiers suspected of murdering an unarmed Palestinian last October. The remand of the suspects' commander was extended by one day.

The two soldiers are suspected of shooting to death a Rafah resident on the Philadelphi route, although he was unarmed and did not raise suspicion in any way.

Prosecutor Captain Ran Cohen said the suspects fired at the Palestinian from their pillbox post. The two commanders at the outpost are suspected of covering up the affair, despite the complaint of a third soldier at the post.

The second commander will be brought for the extension of his remand today. A gag order has been imposed on the soldiers' details, including their ranks, place of residence and the unit they serve in.

The judge, Lieutenant Colonel Aharon Mishnayot, said he expected the prosecution to present charges against the two soldiers and their commander, if it intends to do so, on Wednesday.

The soldiers have been in custody for 21 days, but their attorneys received their testimonies to the military police only Sunday. The judge said he expects the prosecution to hand over more material to the defense without delay.

The soldiers' lawyers asked Sunday whether the soldiers' unit commander, a lieutenant colonel, was also questioned in the affair and whether he would be arrested as well. The MP representative refused to answer.