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Norman Bentwich’s Assailant Sentenced for 15-year Term

March 2, 1930
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Abdul Ghani, the young Arab police orderly who on November 25 shot and wounded Norman Bentwich, the Jewish attorney-general of Palestine, was today sentenced to fifteen years in prison for attempted murder. The court that sentenced Ghani was composed of Judge Tute, a Briton, Judge Valero, a Jew, and Judge Budeiri, an Arab. All of the other cases arising from the riots were tried by courts composed exclusively of British judges.

Ghani admitted having done the shooting, but pleaded that he was not guilty and not responsible. Abdul Hadi, counsel for the defense, made a similar plea, saying that public sentiment believed that Bentwich was an enemy of the people and religion. In cross-examining Bentwich, Hadi hammered away at the same point and made Bentwich admit that the Arab press had attacked him repeatedly.

Two Jewish policemen, witnesses for the prosecution, testified that the assailant had carefully inquired concerning Bentwich’s movements on the day of the crime. The verdict declared that the accused was an accomplice with his father in a murder growing out of a family feud.

Bentwich was shot and wounded in the leg after being fired at three times as he was passing through the corridor of the Government offices. The shooting occurred shortly after the Inquiry Commission had begun its investigation of the Palestine riots. At the time of the shooting, it was reported that the attempt on Bentwich’s life was the outgrowth of a plot and the assailant was alleged to have said that he had received $500 for carrying out the attempt and had been offered a similar amount no matter what the result of his attempt.

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