Court to Rule on Plea Deal for Drunk Driver Who Killed Four People

The State Prosecution yesterday announced that it has reached a plea bargain with a drunk driver who killed four people, under which he will serve no less than nine and a half years in prison.

Ibrahim Abu Zina, 28, was not only drunk when he caused the accident; he was also driving without a license, as it had been revoked due to previous traffic offenses.

The state presented the plea bargain to the Tel Aviv District Court yesterday, and the court will decide whether to accept it on February 8.

In addition to manslaughter, Abu Zina was convicted of kidnapping one of the four victims, Idit Gratzia. Abu Zina threw her forcibly into the back seat of his car and then hit the gas, making it impossible for her to get out. He was also convicted of causing serious bodily harm, driving without a license, driving while intoxicated and running a red light.

The accident took place at the Lod junction, when Abu Zina's car sped into the intersection and crashed into another car. All three occupants of the other car were killed, as was Gratzia.

Abu Zina also has a prior conviction for drug dealing.

Families object

Some of the victims' families said that they objected to the plea bargain, as they believe that Abu Zina deserves a longer sentence. Nevertheless, none of them chose to speak at yesterday's hearing, even though the Crime Victims' Rights Law allows a victim's relatives to state their opinion of a plea bargain before the court.

According to prosecutor Aviv Sharon, one reason for the plea bargain was to avoid the necessity of revealing the details of Gratzia's relationship with Abu Zina in court, which would violate the privacy of the deceased. In addition, he said, the deal would save court time, which is at a premium due to a heavy backlog of cases.