Tuesday, November 19, 2013 16:34 Again and again the courts reject requests from the police to extend detainees’ remands. As the end of the Gregorian year approaches, a time when many individuals and offices are tallying up totals of various types, a question arises: Is the Department of Nationalist Crime in the Central Unit of the Israeli Police trying to artificially increase its case load?
Two recent requests for remand extension filed by police in two courts ended with, relative to the time requested, short remand extensions. In one instance a minor was detained in Jerusalem last Friday night (November 15) while walking with a friend. The police claimed that the youths were on their way to spray paint graffiti on a French monastery in the city. Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Shmuel Herbst ruled against the police request for a lengthy extension and extended the remand by only two days. Honenu attorney Moriah Sasson, who represented the detainee, stated that, “My client denies all charges. This is not the first time that the police have made serious and far reaching accusations which in the end turn out to be baseless.”
In another case, on Monday November 18, in the Shomron region, an adult was detained on charges of spray painting graffiti, vandalizing a structure and a vehicle after graffiti was discovered on a structure and a bus owned by the Afikim bus company. The police requested that the Petah Tikva Magistrate Court extend his remand by 8 days. In her decision Petah Tikva Magistrate Court Judge Devora Atar rejected the request and extended the remand by only two days. Honenu attorney Yossi Lin, who represented the detainee stated that, “The detention stemmed from the public mood. There was no cause for detaining my client. Also the court extended the remand for a short period of time only, and I am convinced that my client will soon be free.”
Honenu notes that, “It is unfortunate that the Israeli Police does not thoroughly examine the situation before detaining youths and adults based only on their outward appearance. The dozens of cases which have opened on suspicions the same as those which the police has accused the detainees over the past few days and closed without a conviction apparently have not sufficed to cause the police to think twice before carrying out groundless detentions.” The police should have learned their lesson from the numerous recent cases in which suspects have been unconditionally released and from the recent exoneration of three suspects in a case tried for over two years.
Residents of Yehuda and Shomron are asking questions: Is the wave of detentions carried out by the Yehuda and Shomron Police due to their lack of ability to produce cases which end in a conviction combined with the approaching end of the Gregorian year? Are the detentions an attempt to augment the yearly report, and compensate for the inability of the department to present any substantial accomplishments despite the large budget invested in increasing the number of investigators in the department?
Update: The second youth accused of planning to spray paint graffiti on a French monastery in Jerusalem was also detained.