Border guard indicted for killing comrade while playing with a pistol

Afik Toibi charged with involuntary manslaughter; prosecutors say he has a long history of wildly irresponsible gun use, violence and sexual assault

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Afik Toibi, a border guard who is suspected of killing his comrade, Sgt. Naim Maadi, is indicted in a Haifa District Court on March 10, 2021. (Screen capture: Twitter)
Afik Toibi, a border guard who is suspected of killing his comrade, Sgt. Naim Maadi, is indicted in a Haifa District Court on March 10, 2021. (Screen capture: Twitter)

A 20-year-old Border Police officer was charged with involuntary homicide on Wednesday for allegedly killing his comrade last month while playing with his gun and then attempting to cover up the crime by staging the death as a suicide.

According to prosecutors, the accused — Afik Toibi, of Nof Hagalil in northern Israel — had a long history of behaving irresponsibly with his service weapon, pointing it at other border guards while it was loaded and joking that he would kill them.

Last month, Sgt. Naim Maadi from the Druze town of Julis was found dead on his base in the northern city of Acre. Medical examiners initially suspected that Maadi had killed himself, but further investigation determined that this was not the case.

According to the indictment, which was filed in Haifa District Court, Toibi walked into the room that he shared with Maadi, removed the magazine from his pistol, but apparently not a bullet that was already in the chamber, and then pointed the gun at Maadi’s head and said, “Look,” before pulling the trigger and shooting him in the face.

The late Sgt. Naim Maadi in an undated photo. (Police Spokesperson)

Then, instead of getting Maadi medical assistance, Toibi staged the body and the gun to appear as though he had shot himself and told others that Maadi had committed suicide, according to the indictment.

He then attempted to remove evidence that he’d pulled the trigger by cleaning his hands with hand sanitizer, according to prosecutors.

In the indictment, prosecutors said Toibi routinely played with his service pistol and had also behaved violently toward his fellow border guards, including “forcefully” sodomizing one of his comrades.

According to the charge sheet, Toibi would take out his gun and put a bullet in the chamber “for no reason and with no justification”; would aim it “directly at others, at close range, especially Maadi, sometimes when the magazine was full of bullets”; and while doing so would say things like, “I’m going to shoot you” or “I’m going to slaughter you.”

In addition to the homicide charges, Toibi was also indicted for obstruction of justice, making threats, battery and sexual assault.

According to Toibi’s attorney, despite these testimonies by Toibi’s comrades after the fact, no complaints were ever formally filed against him before the shooting.

In light of the indictment against Toibi, the head of the Border Police ordered an internal investigation of the Acre border guard unit.

Maadi was considered an outstanding policeman during his mandatory service. He was buried in his hometown.

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