Two Israel Air Force Men to Be Charged in Rape of Female Comrade

At hearing, judge says substantial evidentiary basis links suspects to allegations of rape, sodomy, sexual abuse, invasion of privacy and obstruction of justice.

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Israel Air Force pilots. Credit: Daniel Bar-On

Two soldiers are to be charged in the rape of a female soldier on the Hatzerim Air Force Base last month.

The two, who are suspected of rape, sodomy, sexual abuse, invasion of privacy and obstruction of justice, have been held in custody ever since the soldier filed a complaint with the Military Police.

A military court extended their remand on Sunday for five days. They are expected to be indicted on Thursday, and at that hearing the military prosecution is to ask that they be held until the end of legal proceedings.

At Sunday’s hearing, the judge, Lt. Col. Shahar Greenberg, wrote, “There is a substantial evidentiary basis that links the suspects to the allegations against them.” He added that the evidence is comprehensive and the indictment would apparently include “several charges, given the allegations against the suspects.”

Attorney Nir Lister, who represents the female soldier, welcomed the progress in the investigation. The suspects’ attorneys, Benny Kuznitz and Shai Roda, say their clients have admitted having sex with the soldier, but claim it was consensual.

Two other soldiers originally arrested in the case were apparently not involved in actual rape. One, however, is still suspected of invasion of privacy, attempted invasion of privacy, sexual harassment, indecent assault, and obstruction of justice. The second soldier is suspected of invasion of privacy, obstruction of justice, destroying evidence, and drug offences.