TEL AVIV (Jan. 10)
Michael Barkai, the suspended commander of the Israeli Navy, will not be reinstated despite his acquittal by a special tribunal Monday of charges of attempted rape. The decision, announced yesterday by Chief of Staff Gen. Raphael Eitah, was supported by Defense Minister Ezer Weizman. Barkai, 43, served as Navy commander for more than two years. He will retire and return to civilian life.
The decision not to restore him to duty was based on the nature of the court’s verdict. The panel, consisting of Gen. (res.) Chaim Herzog and two civilian judges; stated that the testimony in the trial tended to support the complainant, a young woman member of the Navy, but that the lack of corroborating evidence left no choice but to decide for acquittal.