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“Confidential material” included articles posted openly on Internet

Thursday, September 10, 2015, 12:33 On Thursday, September 10, a last deliberation took place at the Lod District Court on Meir Ettinger’s case. Ettinger has been under administrative detention since the beginning of August, by an order signed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. A decision on the case will be made in ten day’s time. During the deliberation Honenu attorney Yuval Zemer, who is representing Ettinger, concluded his pleas after receiving investigative material in accordance with an order of the court. Among other discoveries made during the deliberations Zemer discovered that the “confidential material” submitted by the GSS included articles which Ettinger had openly posted on his blog on the HaKol HaYehudi website. Additionally Zemer pleaded that the central claims of the GSS and the Attorney General’s office have been refuted because the basis of the administrative order was a suspicion that Ettinger had been involved with an arson incident at a house in the Arab village of Khirbat Abu Falah. However by examining the investigative material which the court ordered transferred to Zemer, it is clear that there is no evidence implicating Ettinger and under interrogation he gave an alibi as to his whereabouts on the night of the arson, but the police did not bother to take testimony from the people who had been with him at the time. Ettinger was also accused of violating an administrative house arrest order which was in effect before the administrative detention order was issued. However after Zemer examined the alleged violations it turned out that Ettinger had not violated the order. Concerning one of the alleged violations, when Ettinger was not at his house in Tzfat he was staying at a house in the central region of Israel and had informed the Ramleh and Rechovot Police Stations of his whereabouts, as was required according to the order. Ettinger’s conversations with the police stations were recorded. Ettinger was allowed to work, however he was required to be home by a certain time and one day he was late. He was accused of violating the terms of his house arrest but he had been stranded on his way home from work without transportation and he had informed the commander of the Tzfat Police Station by phone as required according to the order. In yet another incident, on the basis of “intelligence information” Ettinger was suspected of hosting a man on Shabbat with whom he was banned from communicating. Policemen who raided the house did not find the man but rather found Ettinger, his wife and his parents sitting and calmly having a Shabbat meal. “This case is completely political. They are attempting to detain a man solely for his opinions, and therefore I am working hard for Mr. Ettinger’s release from administrative detention,” said Honenu attorney Yuval Zemer. “The material transferred to us proves that Ettinger was not involved with the arson incident in Khirbat Abu Falah and did not violate the administrative order. We also discovered that the ‘confidential material’ includes articles which Ettinger had openly posted on the Internet. This is a slippery slope which constitutes a danger to democracy. I expect the court to stop the matter and cancel the administrative detention order.”

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