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Bat Ayin minors to be released from remand tomorrow morning

Thursday, August 30, 14:40 In a deliberation which took place a short while ago the Jerusalem Magistrate Court decided to release tomorrow morning the remaining two youths from Bat Ayin still in remand, Honenu reports. Yesterday evening the third detainee was released to his home. After five days in remand the remaining two youths aged 12 and 13 are scheduled to be released to their homes in Bat Ayin. The two youths along with a third were suspected of involvement with the incident in which a fire bomb (Molotov cocktail) was thrown at an Arab taxi on Route 60 in Gush Etzion. Six Arabs were injured to varying degree in the incident. The detained youths, along with other youths who were not detained, were interrogated by GSS interrogators already on the night of the fire bomb incident. The two youths scheduled for release tomorrow also gave alibis on that same night. On Sunday of this week (August 26), ten days after the incident occurred, three youths aged 12-13 were detained. Two were detained at the Jerusalem yeshiva at which they study and the third was detained at his home in Bat Ayin. On Sunday the court ordered that the three detainees be released the following day unless there was a significant development in the investigation. The following day the police demanded a remand extension because, according to them, there was a development in the investigation. The court accepted the police request and extended the remand of the youths until today (Thursday). On Tuesday Honenu attorney Adi Kedar filed an urgent request with the court to hold a deliberation on the violation of the minors’ rights by the police. Among other violations, the police prevented the youths from meeting with an attorney for an entire day. After the court ordered that a deliberation take place on the matter the police allowed the youths to meet with an attorney. Additionally Kedar requested a reexamination of the evidence in the case after, in his opinion, developments occurred in the investigation which indicated that the youths were not involved with the incident. The following day (Wednesday) the police decided to release one of the youths after Honenu pressured the court to hold a deliberation to reexamine the evidence. In the end a deliberation to reexamine the evidence was scheduled for this morning (Thursday), which was redundant because a deliberation on the case had already been scheduled for today. In an agreement between the two sides the court decided today that the two minors still in remand would remain in remand until tomorrow morning, at which time they would be released to a week of house arrest. A 2,500 NIS bond will be posted for them in addition to a bond posted by a third party. The third detainee was released yesterday under one condition, that he not make contact with the other individuals involved with the case; he is permitted to return to his yeshiva. Honenu attorney David HaLevi, who is representing the youths, responded to the court’s decision: “The release of one of the minors yesterday speaks for itself and indicates that from the start there was no cause for the remand. The other minors will also be released tomorrow. Throughout the investigation there has been the impression that the focus is on acquiring a confession from my clients on an action which they did not carry out, and in the process trampling their rights. This should be noted particularly because the detainees are minors aged 12 and 13.” Honenu responded that, “We are happy that the youths are being released, after all, they are young, aged 12-13, and there is no reason to keep them in remand. On the other hand we are very displeased with the conduct of the police throughout the remand. Denying the youths a meeting with an attorney in violation of minors’ rights and ignoring the alibis which they gave are unacceptable measures. It is a shame that the police are conducting themselves against the law.”

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