Video in lynched Eritrean case shelved
Beersheba District Court Judge Ahron Mishnayot on Thursday put off accepting as valid evidence a key video showing the lynching of an innocent Eritrean man on October 18, 2015, after a terrorist attack at the Beersheba Central Bus Station. On Wednesday, Mishnayot issued a decision disqualifying the video. Defense lawyers for some of the four men, including an IDF soldier, prison guard and two civilians, who were accused of beating Haptom Zarhum to death after mistaking him for the terrorist, declared victory in the case.
On Thursday, the Justice Ministry said Mishnayot clarified that there was an error in his decision, which should have said he was only not accepting the video pending hearing further arguments from the sides, though the evidentiary problems are serious. Zarhum’s death was primarily the result of a gunshot wound, but while still alive he was beaten by a brutal mob that included the four defendants in a video, which went viral. The dispute is about whether the police maintained the video properly. • Yonah Jeremy Bob