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  • Uri DeYoung

Acco terrorist allowed short release without electronic anklet

Please click here for a list of posts relating to the mid-May 2021 Arab rioting throughout Israel and here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu has represented victims of rock or Molotov cocktail attacks.

Mor Janashvilli (L), Honenu Atty. Chayim Bleicher (R); Photo credit: Honenu

Sunday, May 15, 2022, 12:35 Haifa District Court Judge Nitzan Silman approved a several-hour release from house arrest without an electronic anklet for Adham Bashir, one of the perpetrators of the attempted murder of Mor Janashvilli in Acco during the Arab riots of May 2021. During the release, Bashir will be permitted to walk around freely, despite the danger he poses to the public.

In August 2021, Judge Silman authorized the release of Bashir from remand to house arrest with an electronic anklet. In March 2022, the Haifa District Court convicted Bashir of aggravated assault in an act of terror and rioting.

Honenu Attorneys Chayim Bleicher and Ophir Steiner, who are representing Janashvilli, wrote an urgent letter to the office of the State Attorney asking them to appeal Judge Silman's decision, which allows a terrorist to do whatever he wants, while he is waiting to be sentenced for a nationalistically motivated attack on a Jewish citizen of Israel.

In the urgent letter, the attorneys, who were shocked by the court's decision, described the detrimental effects of the decision on Janashvilli, who has been coping with the trauma since the attempted murder. "Our client is still trying to 'pick up the pieces' regarding his physical injuries, his spirit, and his daily routine since the attack which nearly cost him his life. He is in constant fear that he will encounter either the same group of rioters or their friends, who will try to 'finish the job'. He finds some comfort in the court hearings at which he is regularly present and sees with his own eyes that the law enforcement system is keeping the attackers off the street.

"Every decision pertaining to keeping the [perpetrators] behind bars or under electronic surveillance reassures him and allows him to wake up the next day a bit more calm and receptive to his rehabilitation. On the other hand, whenever there is a chance that the [perpetrators] will regain their freedom or part of it, our client feels as if at any moment one of them could ambush him and continue to injure him. This feeling is deep, paralyzing, and does not allow him peace.

"[Bashir's place of residence], Shefaram, is only approximately half an hour's drive from our client's place of residence, Haifa. 'A window' of two whole hours, during which the authorities will not have any indication of how far [Bashir] is from his place of residence or where he has gone, is more than enough for him to reach our client's doorstep. This situation fills our client's heart with the fear that possibly [Bashir], whom the court agreed poses a concrete danger and whom the court convicted of severe violence, will attempt to harm him."

Bleicher and Steiner stated that the court is promoting and encouraging a series of far-reaching leniencies for a man who has been convicted of aggravated assault in an act of terror. Bashir's conviction classifies him as posing a high level of danger to the public in general and specifically to Janashvilli, whom he has already injured.

The attorneys' letter describes one of Judge Silman's reasons for allowing the short release. This reason is that the attempted murder was influenced by Operation Guardian of the Walls, which occurred at the same time: "There was a military operation in the background, and it was at the time of a holiday [Ramadan]."

To that, the attorneys responded: "The military operation was not conducted in the streets of Acco, but rather there were tensions that permeated the streets and [Bashir's] heart. And now we find ourselves amid several consecutive weeks of terror attacks, each one close on the heels of the previous attack. Many citizens have either lost or have come very close to losing their lives. Tensions are rising, and the calls by Hamas on the Temple Mount to continue the escalation are particularly conspicuous. Is [Bashir] immune to these tensions!? And is this not enough to raise a suspicion that someone who has already indicated with his acts that these tensions led him to serious violence, [will commit a violent act]?"

In the conclusion of their letter, Honenu Attorneys Bleicher and Steiner asked the office of the State Attorney to appeal the decision: "Because of all of the above-stated, my client cannot find respite. Therefore we ask you to urgently appeal the decision by the [Haifa District] Court so that the concrete danger posed by [Bashir], in the context of the other circumstances, will be reconsidered in hopes that he will return to complete house arrest with an electronic anklet."

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