A Jewish rabbinical court has condemned a stray dog to death by stoning.

The court believes the poor K9 was the reincarnation of a lawyer who levelled insults at its judges 20 years ago.

Israeli website Ynet reported that the homeless dog entered the Jerusalem financial court several weeks ago and refused to leave.

Rather than seeing the animal as a stray simply looking for shelter, the dog reminded a judge of a curse passed on a now deceased secular lawyer, when judges told his spirit to enter the body of a dog.

Perhaps sensing his fate, the lucky dog managed to escaped before the sentence was carried out.

One of the judges had apparently asked local children to carry out the sentence.

A local animal welfare organisation filed a complaint with the police after a court manager told Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot the stoning had been ordered as "as an appropriate way to 'get back at' the spirit which entered the poor dog".

Dogs are often considered impure animals in traditional Judaism.

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