Monday, June 9, 2014, 17:31 On Friday, June 6 a 20-year-old Yitzhar resident suspected of involvement with a “Price Tag” incident in Abu Ghosh approximately one year ago was released from remand. Both the Petah Tikva Magistrate Court and the Lod District Court to which the police appealed ruled that the evidence in the case was weak and did not warrant extending his remand.
The Attorney General’s office publicized an announcement to the news media and announced at a press conference that an indictment would be filed against him despite the weak evidence and also summoned him to a deliberation in court on Sunday, June 8. However approximately one hour before the deliberation the Attorney General’s office suddenly announced that they would file an indictment, but against a different suspect in the same case. An indictment was filed on June 8 against an 18-year-old suspected of involvement with the Abu Ghosh incident.
In the afternoon on Sunday, June 8 the released youth was
suddenly summoned for interrogation at the Central Unit of the Jerusalem Police Station. Afterwards the police announced that he was being detained and that an indictment would be filed against him. On the morning of Monday, June 9 the youth was brought to the Jerusalem District Court and an indictment was filed against him on charges of puncturing car tires and spray-painting graffiti in the Arab town of Abu Ghosh approximately one year ago.
Honenu attorney David HaLevi, who is representing the youth, leveled strong criticism against the police for suddenly detaining the youth despite the decisions of the courts. HaLevi demanded the youth’s immediate release, even before examination of the evidence.
Judge Arnon Darel accepted HaLevi’s plea and ordered the youth released to house arrest until the deliberation on the evidence which is scheduled for Thursday, June 12.
“The conclusion I reached is that there is no development in the investigation which justifies the immediate detention of the defendant,” wrote Judge Darel in his decision and criticized the police for “the one-sided measure which was taken despite the decisions of the [Petah Tikva] Magistrate Court and the [Lod] District Court ordering the release of the defendant.”
At the request of the Attorney General’s office the court issued a delay in carrying out the decision until the morning of Tuesday, June 10, and that is in order to allow the State of Israel time to consider filing an appeal on the release of the youth.
“The detention of my client who was released by the decisions of courts which ruled that the evidence does not warrant his remand is scandalous,” said Honenu attorney David HaLevi. “The attempt by the prosecution to repeatedly detain my client without having sufficient grounds is an outrage. I am pleased that the [Jerusalem] District Court criticized the unacceptable procedure and ordered the release of my client.”
Honenu, which is representing the defendants in the case, responded: “The indictment filed yesterday [June 8] pushed the limits of reasonable conduct as far as weighing the evidence is concerned. The scandalous detention and the indictment filed today go beyond. The police, the GSS and the Attorney General’s office are pushing the law to its extreme limits, but only concerning Jewish youth. If they [the law enforcement authorities] conducted themselves in this manner with other sectors of the population there would be no terror in the State of Israel.”