Jerusalem, Jan 30 : An Israeli court in the coastal city of Tel Aviv sentenced Itzhak Asefa, an Israeli Premier League soccer player, to 4.5 years in prison on Thursday for his involvement in a hit-and-run accident in which a 17-year-old boy was killed. The accident occurred in September 2018, when the boy, Ari Nesher, the son of Israeli film director Avi Nesher, rode at night with his friend on an electric bike in Tel Aviv. The 21-year-old Asefa, who was driving his car at the time, hit the bike and as a result, Nesher was fatally injured and died after a few days in the hospital.
Nesher's friend was moderately injured. The court ruled that Asefa did not cause the accident because Nesher's friend, who carried him on the bike, swerved into the car's path. However, the player was convicted of leaving the scene without giving the teenager any help that could have saved his life. Thus, the court rejected Asefa's claim that he did not know he had hit a bike and thought he only had a flat tire.
Asefa was also convicted of disrupting investigation proceedings, as he tried to repair the damage done to his car and lied to the police. Apart from the sentence, the court also ruled that Asefa will pay a compensation of 20,000 new shekels (about $ 5,800) to the Nesher family and 5,000 shekels to the injured boy's family. Since the accident, and especially after the conviction in September 2019, Asefa's team, FC Ashdod, has been severely criticised by the late boy's family and Israeli media for letting the player participate in the games. (Xinhua)