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Court orders release, State Prosecutor and police refuse

Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 22:39 Honenu is pleased to announce that following intervention by Honenu Attorneys Chai Haber and Adi Kedar, a detainee ordered released by the Lod District Court on the afternoon of Tuesday, December 29, has actually been released after being held in remand illegally for several hours. On Tuesday, December 29, the Lod District Court rejected an appeal filed by the State in the case of one of the detainees who was tortured by the GSS while being interrogated during the investigation of the Kfar Duma arson case, and ordered his immediate release. Shai Nitzan, the State Prosecutor, and the police refused to comply with the court’s decision. Initially officials in the Israel Prison Service told the detainee’s relatives, who had been waiting at the prison for over four hours, that there were “orders from above” not to release the detainee. Just before 18:00, after the detainee had already been held in remand illegally for several hours, investigatory officials announced that a request had been filed with the court to delay carrying out the decision so that an appeal with the Supreme Court could be filed. The request is signed by Attorney Avi Tivoni from the Department of Nationalist Crime in the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police, and states that, “After the State Prosecutor examined the decision by the [Lod] District Court today, this request is being filed upon his instruction to delay carrying out the release in order to allow an appeal to be filed.” It is important to note that while the State Prosecutor examined the case, a matter of several hours, the Prison Service officials delayed the release of the detainee despite lacking the authority to do so and despite the illegality of the delay. In response Honenu Attorneys Chai Haber, who is representing the detainee, and Adi Kedar stated that, “It is alarming that the State Prosecutor reasons that it is within his ability to change judicial decisions even after the court has ruled. With this request the State Prosecutor and the police are partners to the illegal remand of a man, a man who for almost a month they claimed was involved with the Kfar Duma case, which yesterday turned out to be an unfounded claim. “We announce that every additional moment he remains in remand by authority of this request constitutes contempt of judicial decisions. When such a request comes from he who stands at the head of the system entrusted with carrying out the decisions, the message given to the public is extremely problematic, as has been the conduct of the Attorney General’s office, as we have seen in this case and in other recent cases publicized by the media.”

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