Bat Ayin detainees unconditionally released

Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 14:19 On Tuesday, April 28 Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori ordered the unconditional release of two Bat Ayin residents, an adult and a minor, accused of participation in three “Price Tag” incidents approximately two years previously. Judge Drori accepted Honenu’s pleas and rejected out of hand the demand by the Attorney General’s office to keep the detainees in remand until the end of proceedings. Judge Drori ruled that there is no cause to extend their remand due to the fact that the incidents occurred approximately two years previously. However the court ordered a 48 hour delay in carrying out the decision in order to allow the Attorney General’s office time to consider appealing the decision with the Supreme Court of Israel. The two Bat Ayin residents, along with an additional minor whose case was judged the previous day, are accused of involvement with three incidents in which Arabs were injured. All three incidents occurred in the area of Bat Ayin approximately two years previously. Judge Drori ruled in his decision that there was no precedent in which someone was detained in the State of Israel until the end of proceedings in a case of racially motivated assault when the case in question was an isolated incident which occurred two years previously. “The court has the obligation to preserve a citizen’s rights,” ruled Judge Drori and added that if an Arab had been accused of a racially motivated assault two years previously no-one would consider ordering him to be held in remand until the end of proceedings. The Honenu attorneys who are representing the defendants note that the three detainees in the case were held under extremely harsh conditions in a GSS facility and two of them, 16 year old minors, were prevented for several days from meeting with an attorney, an action usually reserved for terrorists. Honenu attorney Chai Haber, who is representing the adult, said in response that, “The court’s decision, which ordered the unconditional release of my client, speaks for itself. My client denies all connection to the incidents attributed to him. The incidents occurred approximately two years ago, and from an initial study of the wording of the indictment it seems that the case is based on a confession which stemmed from the pressures of the GSS interrogations. The GSS held the suspects, some of whom were banned from meeting with an attorney, under extremely harsh conditions. I am certain that during his trial it will be proven that he does not and did not have any connection to the alleged incidents.” Honenu attorney Aharon Roza, who is representing one of the minors stated that, “I welcome the [Jerusalem] District Court’s decision, which ordered the unconditional release of the minor, taking into consideration the fact that the violations are attributed to a minor and are from a long time ago. It is worthy of note that the indictment does not mention any violation which is defined by law as a security violation, a violation for which they prevented a minor from meeting with an attorney for many days. Also the serious violations of which the investigating units accused [my client] vanished as if they had never existed.” Honenu attorney Uri Keinan, who is representing the other minor, said that, “The investigative material has not yet been examined, however it seems that one can say that there are serious claims concerning the conduct of the GSS interrogators and the extraction of the confession in this case. My client is a minor and was held under extremely harsh conditions. Other claims will be made after the investigative material is studied.”

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