IDF officer convicted of wrongdoing, but not sexual abuse
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IDF officer convicted of wrongdoing, but not sexual abuse

Victim, former soldier May Fatal, tells military court that conviction should note Liran Hajbi committed sex offenses

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Former Givati commander Liran Hajbi (photo credit: IDF spokesman)
Former Givati commander Liran Hajbi (photo credit: IDF spokesman)

An ex-IDF soldier on Thursday protested a plea bargain struck between the prosecution and her former commander, telling a military tribunal — before it handed down punishment — that Lt. Col. Liran Hajbi’s conviction should note he sexually harassed her.

May Fatal arrived at the military tribunal convened at the Israel Defense Forces’ headquarters in Tel Aviv to deliver her protest.

Her former commander, Lt. Col. Liran Hajbi, agreed to leave the army, was demoted in rank, put on probation, and fined NIS 5,000. Fatal had accused Hajbi, chief of the Givati Brigade’s Tzabar Battalion, of sexually harassing her when he was her commanding officer.

In a letter read out to the court by her attorney, Fatal explained that her issue wasn’t with the plea bargain itself, but the absence of any reference to sexual abuse.

“I have no problem with him being convicted in a plea bargain, but in no way am I prepared [to accept] that it doesn’t record that the accused sexually harassed me… 36 times.”

The indictment found Hajbi guilty of “acts which exceed the commander-subordinate relations and had some sexual background.”

IDF soldier May Fatal breaks her silence on April 27, 2015, on sexual harassment allegations against Givati commander Liran Hajbi (photo credit: Facebook)
IDF soldier May Fatal breaks her silence on April 27, 2015, on sexual harassment allegations against Givati commander Liran Hajbi (photo credit: Facebook)

Last month, Fatal broke her silence and identified herself on Facebook for the first time, slamming the military courts for offering Hajbi what she said was a softened indictment and plea bargain.

In response, Hajbi’s attorney said at the time that Fatal had approved the arrangement, and had revised her version of the story.

Fatal has denied any romantic entanglement with Hajbi, saying that she had rejected his advances repeatedly and explicitly.

Hajbi was indicted in March for hugging, kissing, and harassing his female subordinate by text messages, and another clause that was not made public. He was relieved of his post last December.

Marissa Newman contributed to this report.

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