JERUSALEM (Jun. 7)
A Jerusalem district court judge today imposed an 18 month prison setence on Noam Yinnon of Moshav Keshet on the Golan Heights, plus a second 18 month sentence which was suspended.
Yinnon is the first of the 27 alleged members of a Jewish terrorist underground who were indicted last month to go on trial. His case was tried separately from the others after the State prosecutor agreed to a request by the defense attorney to drop charges of attempted murder. The underground, based on the West Bank, has been implicated in a series of violent crimes against Arab civilians during the past four years and the planned bombing of five Arab-owned buses in East Jerusalem which was foiled by Israeli security forces on April 27.
Yinnon was convicted of unlawful possession of explosives and transporting explosives, offenses which carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. But thepresiding judge accepted the defense contention that Yinnon did not know and did not imagine that the explosives he carried would be used to take lives. According to the charge sheet, the explosives were used to manufacture powerful bombs which were planted in the Arab buses and timed to detonate at the peak of rush hour on April 27. The judge said he was convinced that Yinnon sincerely regretted his actions.
But he denied a defense motion to postpone sentencing for a week so that Yinnon could see his family. According to the defense attorney, Yaacov Hagler, the State Attorney’s office is negotiating reduced charges against two other suspects. None of them has been identified.