District court judge ruled: Magistrate court judge erred and violated rights of the detainees

Thursday, January 3, 2013, 19:39 In an urgent appeal filed by Honenu attorney David HaLevi on the remand extension of the Esh Kodesh detainees, Judge Friedman-Feldman criticized the decision of the Jerusalem Magistrate Court. “Indeed the first court erred,” she wrote in her decision.
On Thursday, January 3, one day after the remand of two Esh Kodesh detainees was extended by three days, District Court Judge Rivka Friedman-Feldman strongly criticized the decision of Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Tamar Bar-Asher Tsaban to extend their remand. The criticism was leveled due to the fact that despite the absence of the detainees’ attorney Judge Bar-Asher Tsaban chose to hold the deliberation without appointing a public attorney in his place. Additionally Judge Friedman-Feldman wrote in her decision that Judge Bar-Asher Tsaban conducted the deliberation with a police representative without informing the detainees of their right to cross-examination. One of the detainees was released and the decision concerning the other was moved up to 9 A.M. on Friday, January 4.
On the morning of Tuesday, January 1, a disturbance broke out in the community of Esh Kodesh in the Binyamin region after Arabs from the nearby village of Kusra arrived in order to plow fields within the boundaries of the community in close proximity to houses. The Arabs plowed with the authorization and protection of army and police forces. According to residents of Esh Kodesh the Arabs use plowing fields as a cover for scouting out the community and examining ways of entry to it, which endangers the residents. The Esh Kodesh residents note that the murderers of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar had harvested olives within the area of Itamar under authorization and protection of the army a short time before the murder, which allowed them to examine ways of entry to and escape from the community.
During the course of the Esh Kodesh incident four Jews were detained with two of them having been released that the same day. The other two were accused of assaulting a policeman and brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court at the demand of the police to extend their remand. During the detention the police used severe violence including beating one of the detainees, who suffers from asthma, in all parts of his body while he was handcuffed and spraying tear gas in his face even though he was not resisting arrest. Medical treatment was given at the scene due to the refusal of the policemen to agree to the recommendation of the ambulance crew of evacuation to hospital. The violent conduct of the police was documented on video and publicized in the media.
On Wednesday, January 2, the two remaining detainees were brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court in order to extend their remand. The detainees, one aged 27, married and the father of four, the other a 19 year old newlywed, denied all charges. Due to an unusually large caseload at the court and the postponement of the deliberation from the morning to the late afternoon, Honenu attorney David HaLevi, who is representing the detainees, was forced to leave the courtroom for a short while in order to be present at a previously scheduled deliberation at the Jerusalem District Court. At the district court HaLevi requested a postponement so that he could return to the magistrate court. The district court refused and said that it would inform the magistrate court that he was present at the district court.
Magistrate Judge Bar-Asher Tsaban, who noticed that HaLevi was not present, decided to begin the deliberation despite his absence. A representative of Honenu present in the courtroom pleaded that at the very least one of the public defenders present should be appointed for the detainees and in response was removed from the courtroom. The deliberation continued between the judge and a police representative without the detainees being granted their right according to law to cross-examine the police representative.
Despite the fact that the cause for the police request to extend the detainees’ remand was their danger to the public, in her decision the judge wrote that she is extending their remand due to concern for disruption of the investigation. In response Honenu attorney HaLevi filed an urgent appeal to the Jerusalem District Court on the conduct of the Jerusalem Magistrate Court and its difficult to understand decision.
On the morning of Thursday, January 3, a deliberation on the appeal took place at the Jerusalem District Court. In her decision Judge Rivka Friedman-Feldman criticized the conduct of the magistrate court both for the disregard for the right of the detainees to a legal representative and the decision of the judge to extend their remand over concern for disruption of the investigation, even though there was no such claim made by the police. “As stated, in the request for remand extension no claim was made for concern of disruption of the investigation and therefore the basis for the court to extend the remand is lacking,” wrote Judge Friedman-Feldman in her decision.
Honenu attorney David HaLevi, who represented the detainees stated in response that, “The decision of the district court which ordered the release of my client and ruled that the conduct of the magistrate court which had ruled on the matter was flawed, speaks for itself.”arrested

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