An Israeli court ruled Tuesday that an Israeli man found to be the ringleader of the beating and burning alive of a Palestinian teenager in 2014 was sane and responsible for his actions.

Israeli settler Yosef Haim Ben-David, 31, was found to have led the assault, but his lawyers had submitted last-minute documents saying he suffered from mental illness.

Tuesday’s ruling clears the way for him to be sentenced, with his conviction having been put on hold while the court decided on his sanity plea.

“The court has found that at the time he committed the offence, the accused was not psychotic, fully understood the facts, was responsible for his actions, had no difficulty in understanding reality and had the capacity to prevent the crime,” a statement from the justice ministry describing the ruling said.

In February, a court sentenced his two young Israeli accomplices to life and 21 years in prison for the killing, which was part of a spiral of violence in the run-up to the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza.

The two were minors at the time of the chilling attack in which they snatched Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, from an east al-Quds (Jerusalem) street and then killed him.

Israeli authorities said the suspects had decided to kill an Arab and equipped themselves with cables, petrol and other materials before randomly choosing Abu Khdeir.

 

AFP

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