Judge levels unprecedented criticism at police

Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar; Photo credit: Honenu

Sunday, February 21, 2021, 12:58 Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who is representing the detainees in the case said: “A serious incident in which the Israeli Police distorted and concealed information from the court and from the defense has been revealed. The conduct of the Israeli Police led to four detainees unnecessarily spending a night in remand under harsh conditions.”
Following unprecedented criticism leveled at the representative of the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police, Avi Tivoni, by Natzrat Magistrates Court Judge Moran Margalit, Judge Doron Porat, the President of the Northern District Magistrates Courts, ordered the minutes of a February 19 deliberation transferred to Major General Shimon Lavie, the Northern District Police Commander, and to Commander Yoram Azulai, the Northern District Investigations and Intelligence Officer.
On Friday, February 19, the Natzrat Magistrates Court partially rejected a demand by the police and ordered the release of four of the five detainees (detained on Sunday and Monday) being investigated by the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police and the GSS, to five days of house arrest. The police had demanded ten days of house arrest and posting bail as a condition for their release. The court did accept the police request to extend the remand of the fifth detainee by five days in order to give the Attorney General’s office time to file an indictment against him.
At the beginning of the deliberation, Judge Margalit leveled unusually scathing criticism at Tivoni for concealing information from the court, for responding insolently to the court, for the police conduct which did not allow proper handling of a day of deliberations, and for violating the rights of the detainees. Judge Margalit ordered the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police Commander to provide the court with answers regarding the case within seven days, and commented, “I have never encountered such chutzpah during deliberations.”
Honenu Attorneys Avraham Sofer and Adi Keidar represented all five of the detainees. Keidar: “Today (Friday) the detainees arrived in court and it turned out that despite overblown declarations during the previous deliberations about the severity of the infractions and the evidence incriminating the detainees, the court ordered the release of four of the detainees, and thus their case has essentially concluded.
On the other hand, concerning one of the detainees, a plaintiff’s affidavit has been filed. We claimed before the court that the plaintiff’s affidavit was filed contrary to the provisions of the law. At this stage the court has not accepted our claim. However we will appeal the decision and the moment we examine the indictment and the investigative material I am completely certain that we will discover several significant flaws. We hope that this detainee will also be released from remand.”

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