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Israel jails Frenchman for seven years for smuggling Palestinian guns

Israel jails Frenchman for seven years for smuggling Palestinian guns
FILE PHOTO: Romain Franck, an employee of the French consulate-general in Jerusalem, appears with co-defendants in the district court in Beersheba, Israel, March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen   -   Copyright  AMIR COHEN(Reuters)
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BEERSHEBA, Israel (Reuters) – An Israeli court sentenced a French citizen on Monday to seven years’ imprisonment under a plea bargain in which he confessed to using a diplomatic car to help Palestinian gun smugglers.

Romain Franck, a former employee of the French consulate in Jerusalem, was arrested last year and accused by Israeli prosecutors of receiving $7,600 for transporting the contraband between the Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank.

He was not charged with complicity in terrorism, sparing him a potentially harsher sentence. Also arrested in the case was Palestinian from East Jerusalem.

Beesheba District Court said that Franck, who was 23 when indicted, would spend seven years in jail, including time already served. He also received an 18-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay a 30,000 shekel (£6,410 euro) fine.

A French embassy spokesman declined comment on the sentencing.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Alison Williams)

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