Courts hear some strange cases but this one takes the biscuit (perhaps literally) – paranoid judges at a strict Jewish court have sentenced a stray dog to death by stoning as they believe it is possessed with the spirit of an unruly ex-lawyer.
The four-legged criminal came to the attention of the Monetary Affairs Court in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, when it wandered in off the street.
After ‘terrorising’ judges and plaintiffs it then refused to leave the court – sparking a bizarre theory that it was the reincarnation of a lawyer who had insulted the court 20 years previously.
During the lawyer’s tirade, the court became so enraged it cursed him so he would come back in another life as a dog.
Canines are considered impure by traditional Judaism, but with the curse supposedly coming back to haunt the court the only punishment seen fit was for local children to stone the creature to death.
Local website Ynet reported that ‘Let the Animals Live’, an animal welfare organisation, had filed a complaint with the police against the head of the court, Rabbi Avraham Dov Levin.
However, he denies the sentence was ordered.
Either way, the lucky pooch got away with it (whatever ‘it’ was) – he evaded capture and continues to roam free.