Amona protester released from house arrest

Tuesday, December 27, 2016, 11:08 At a December 27 deliberation Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Shaul Gabai Richter accepted the pleas made by Honenu Attorney Sinaiya Moses-Harizi and ordered the cancellation of the restrictive conditions imposed on a minor accused of assaulting a policeman at a protest at the Ofra Junction on December 17 against the planned destruction of Amona. Judge Gabai Richter ruled that there is no evidence implicating the minor, who was detained at the protest and then placed under house arrest. The case is based on the testimonies of three border policemen who claimed that after one of them approached the minor and demanded that he identify himself, the minor shoved and injured him. When he was detained the minor testified that it was a false detention and under interrogation he did not alter his testimony. He also described how the policemen beat him and sprayed his face with pepper spray. The three policemen who testified that they noticed the assault, despite the prevailing confusion and darkness at the time, claim that they did not notice who the policeman was who sprayed the minor with pepper spray. In Moses-Harizi’s opinion this casts doubt on the reliability of the policemen’s testimonies. Moses-Harizi stated during the deliberation that the identification of the minor is problematic and there is a contradiction between the testimony of the complainant, the border policeman, and the police report he filled out on the incident. The report he filled out immediately after the incident describes only that he was shoved. However in his testimony he stated that he was grabbed by the throat and that his arm was wounded. Judge Gabai Richter wrote in his decision, “After studying the case I am of the opinion that there is substance to the claim made by the attorney for the defense concerning the doubtfulness of the existence of prima facie evidence,” and added that that even if there is prima facie evidence there are no grounds for maintaining the restrictive conditions because it was an isolated incident in which a minor lacking a criminal record was involved. The judge rejected the demand by the prosecution to order a delay in carrying out the decision. Honenu would like to point out that according to the investigative material the police had already prepared a request to release the minor on condition of an order distancing him from Amona and Ofra. However close to the deliberation the police changed their demand, apparently due to an order from higher up, and decided to demand a remand extension. Until the December 27 deliberation the minor had been under complete house arrest for ten days. Honenu Attorney Sinaiya Moses-Harizi: “This was apparently a clear cut case of false detention and an attempt to frame a detainee. The border policemen unanimously witnessed the violent behavior of a suspect but “forgot” which policeman pepper sprayed the protesters. Fortunately for the minor there are many holes in the case which prove the claim that from the start this was a false detention during which the detainee was brutally assaulted by the policemen.” See here for more cases involving Amona protesters.

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