Incident not nationalistically motivated, detainee released

Monday, December 17, 2018, 20:20 On the evening of Monday, December 17, the Jerusalem Magistrates Court rejected the police request to extend the remand of a recently released soldier detained on suspicion of assaulting a driver working for the Kavim bus company several days previously in Modi’in Elite. The court ruled that the incident was a dispute between drivers and was not a racially motivated assault. “It should be noted that already now there is no suspicion that the cause of the incident was racism, but rather it was a dispute between two drivers.” The court ruled and referred to testimony from an eye-witness to the incident. Additionally, during the deliberation it was revealed that there was a claim that the Arab bus driver had started the assault by spitting at the other drivers who were parties to the argument.
At the deliberation it came up that the police had documentation of the incident, but as of the deliberation the investigators had not yet viewed the video clips.
In the decision the judges also ruled that the detention of the suspect was carried out illegally, because the police detained the suspect without the power of a court order, and only several days after the incident. At the end of her decision Magistrate Court Judge Havi Toker ordered the release of the suspect, due to his lack of a criminal record, only under restrictive conditions including house arrest at his home. The carrying out of the decision was delayed in order to allow the police to appeal to the Jerusalem District Court.
Honenu Attorney David HaLevi: “My client vehemently denies all charges. Indeed I do not intend to justify violence of any kind. However the record should be set straight, because the situation portrayed indicates that the [Arab] driver acted throughout the incident in a provocatively aggressive and irritating manner and afterwards attempted to depict the incident as nationalistically motivated, to which even the police did not agree. My client was not even present when the incident occurred. The decision to immediately release my client speaks for itself and also includes criticism of the police, who decided to detain my client without a detention warrant, absolutely contrary to the provisions of the law.”
Honenu: “Yet again a libelous plot against Jewish citizens of Israel has fallen flat. It seems that Arab citizens of Israel have found a method: Did you attack a Jew? Immediately say that you were assaulted because you are an Arab and you’ll escape punishment.
We are pleased that the court set the record straight and at the end of the deliberation, after a thorough examination of the evidence, understood the situation and ordered the release of the detainee to his home. It is unfortunate that, time after time, the Israeli Police blindly follow the roars of the mob in the media and not evidence and testimonies.”

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