Gaza court cuts sentence in Italian murder case
February 19, 2013
A Gaza military court on Tuesday accepted the appealÂ by two militants convicted last year of the kidnap and murder of an ItalianÂ national, reducing their sentences from life to 15 years.
"The High Military Court has accepted the appeal presented by (Mahmud) al-Salfiti and (Tamer) al-Husasna to reduce their sentence from hard labour and life, to 15 years," said the judge in a brief hearing.
The two men, both former police officers, were convicted in September 2012 for the kidnap and murder of Italian activistÂ Vittorio ArrigoniÂ and sentenced to life imprisonment.
They filed an appeal asking for the murder conviction to be dropped.
"We asked in our appeal for the conviction for murder and abduction to be dropped to only abduction," their lawyerÂ Mohammed ZarqutÂ told AFP.
It was not immediately clear whether the court had agreed to drop the murder charge as requested in the appeal.
Arrigoni, 36, a long-time member of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement, was kidnapped on April 14, 2011.
In a video, a previously-unknownÂ Salafist groupÂ threatened to kill him within 30 hours if Gaza'sÂ HamasÂ rulers failed to free a group of jihadist prisoners.
But the security forces found his body shortly afterwards in an abandoned house in northern Gaza.
Two other men were also convicted of involvement in the case, with Khadr Faruk Jerim, also a former policeman, receiving 10 years for kidnapping while AmerÂ Abu GholaÂ was jailed for a year for providing the house in which Arrigoni was found hanged.
All four were members of a radical Salafist group.
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