Soldier admits to looting Turkish ship 2Sep10 September 9, 2010

Ynet News -  2 September 2010

Less than two weeks after Ynet reported on the looting of the Mavi Marmara, the Military Prosecution is expected to file an indictment Thursday against a soldier who admitted to stealing a laptop computer, two camera and a compass belonging to the passengers of the Turkish vessel, which was seized by Israeli commandos as it was making its way to Gaza.

Nine Turkish citizens were killed in the May 31 incident. The ship’s passengers were detained and later released.

Indictments are expected to be filed against two other suspects in the coming days. One of the suspects is an officer. An army official called the affair “one of the most embarrassing the IDF has known in recent years.”

The soldiers involved are expected to be charged with looting, theft, dealing in stolen property and behavior unbefitting of a soldier. IDF investigators obtained information indicating that computers stolen from the flotilla were being traded within the army. The probe found that among the suspects were commanders who were tasked with preventing unauthorized personnel from boarding the Marmara while it was docked in Ashdod’s port.

According to the investigation, the suspected soldiers purchased the stolen goods from the commanders.

One of the soldiers, who was arrested last week, admitted to taking the equipment. The officer, a second lieutenant, denied the allegations. However, Military Police believe he and a soldier stole a number of laptops, and then sold them to another soldier.

An indictment is also expected to be filed against a soldier suspected of stealing a laptop and an handheld video game device from the ship.

The soldiers who allegedly purchased the stolen goods are also expected to stand trial, but the charges filed against them will apparently not be as stringent.

“The soldiers’ behavior was disgraceful, and they should be brought to justice,” an IDF official said.

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