09 February 2021 :
After being sentenced to death and managing to survive in one of the harshest prisons in Thailand — and after a long legal battle in the Israeli Supreme Court led by Adv. Nechama Tzivin — Israeli citizen Yigal Makhlouf will soon be transferred to Israel and then be released after a few months, the Jewish Press reported on 7 February 2021.
Makhlouf was sentenced to death 13 years ago after a conviction of trading in ecstasy pills.
The sentence was commuted to 50 years in prison after nine years of incarceration with death row inmates and iron balls weighing 50 pounds chained to each leg.
Advocate Mordechai Tzivin (married to Adv. Nechama Tzivin) visited the Israeli inmate in prison and personally witnessed these conditions.
Israeli media reported that Makhlouf will be released soon after his return to the Jewish State since according to the Israeli Penal Code, the maximum penalty for drug trafficking is 20 years and usually one third of the penalty is offset for good behavior.
For the past eight years, Adv. Nechama Tzivin has waged a legal battle on behalf of her client against former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and former Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, which reached the Israeli Supreme Court (Bagatz).
The ministers refused to transfer Makhlouf to Israel to serve the remainder of his sentence, a procedure common in cases of Israeli prisoners abroad, claiming that he posed a threat to society.
The Supreme Court judges accepted Adv. Nechama Tzivin’s petition to transfer her client to Israel on humanitarian grounds, and her contention that the intelligence provided in the case was old and irrelevant.
Tzivin says she is happy that the court accepted her claims and that after indescribable suffering in a harsh prison, her client will be able to return to his family.
“There should not be any fear, here or abroad, over legal battle against government decisions related to human rights or government corruption,” Tzivin says. “However, it’s important not to give up along the way after all the difficulties the system poses, as in this case.”