Thursday, March 24 12:45 Unprecedented juridical conduct and development during the investigation of vehicular arson in Tsfat and the arrest of three residents of Tsfat.
Currently cleared for publication: The Tsfat police arrested three residents of Tsfat at the end of last week on suspicion of setting fire to cars belonging to Arab students in the city. Details of the suspects and the investigation are still under a gag order.
Most of the details are at this time still confidential, however already it is definite that the initial arrest of the suspects was false. During the investigation illegal pressure was placed on the suspects and one of them was attacked by one of the investigators. A complaint on the matter was submitted to the Police Investigation Unit.
Last Thursday night the three residents of Tsfat, two adults and one minor, were arrested, and brought to the Tsfat Police Station. A police officer issued an order barring them from meeting with an attorney. During questioning the three denied all charges.
The following morning the arrested were permitted to meet with Honenu attorney Adi Kedar and were brought to the Natzrat Magistrate Court for a deliberation of the police request to extend the remand by 10 days.
Natzrat Magistrate Court Judge Lily Young examined the confidential material submitted to her, however she ruled that there was not sufficient evidence connecting the suspects to the act. The judge advised the police to urgently bring more evidence and, going beyond the letter of the law, scheduled an additional deliberation at 15:00 at which the additional material, if there is any, would be examined.
At 15:00 the deliberation restarted when a police representative submitted to the court a page which was apparently written by GSS personnel.
The judge examined the page and rebuked the police, “For that I waited? What is that? It’s nothing.”
The judge ruled that the arrested be released unconditionally being as there was no reasonable suspicion that they had committed the crime. The judge also wrote that if there had been even a scrap of evidence then she would have extended the remand of the youths by a few days, but the police had no evidence at all.
After the ruling a police representative requested a order delaying the carrying out of the ruling. After she considered the matter in her chambers the judge decided to delay the carrying out of the decision until after Shabbat at 23:00.
After Shabbat a deliberation took place on the appeal that the police submitted to the Natzrat District Court. The appeal was partially accepted and the remand was extended to the following day. After, according to the police, new evidence was received over Shabbat, on Sunday the remand of the suspects was extended for one additional day.
On Monday the police again submitted a request to extend the remand, this time to the Tsfat Magistrate Court. The Tsfat Magistrate Court judge extended the remand of the minor until Wednesday and the remand of the adults until Thursday.
Honenu issued an appeal on the remand, however the Natzrat District Court rejected the appeal.
Yesterday (Thursday) the remand of the minor was extended until Monday.
This morning the remand of one of the adults was extended until Monday and the other will be released, apparently this evening, by agreement with the police.
Honenu attorneys Lior Bar Zohar, Ran Sachem and Adi Kedar will represent the arrested.
To reiterate, last week three vehicles belonging to Arab students studying at the Tsfat College were set on fire in the parking lot of the dormitories. On the walls of the college, at which most of the students are Arab, graffiti was sprayed with the wording, “Death to the Arabs.”
Sources in the police department suspect that this was a protest act in response to the murderous attack in Itamar, in which five members of the Fogel family, hy”d, were murdered by Arabs.