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Gush Shiloh resident detained, not presented with evidence

Thursday, August 7, 2014, 9:42 A 26 year old married Gush Shiloh resident who has three children spent six days in intensive interrogation after being detained on suspicion of shooting at an Arab taxi at the Gitit intersection in the Jordan Valley. Neither he nor his Honenu attorneys were presented with any evidence. The story started approximately 10 days ago when GSS agents and detectives from the Department of Nationalist Crime in the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police raided the Gush Shiloh resident’s place of work of and detained him. He was taken home and then policemen conducted a meticulous search of his house. Afterwards they brought him to the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police Station. He was interrogated first on suspicion of throwing rocks at an Arab taxi at the Gitit intersection several days previously. Later the police changed the charges and he was interrogated on suspicion of opening fire on the Arab taxi. The detainee, who denied all charges, does not own a personal weapon and does not have a criminal record. Despite that, his remand was extended twice. The investigators refused to specify to the court the details of the incident. At some point the investigators claimed that they had photographs of the detainee’s car at the site of the incident. The detainee continued to assert that he had not been at the site. Later, it became known that the police did not have photographs of the detainee’s car at the site. The contractor for whom the detainee works presented himself to the court and testified that the detainee was at work on the day of the incident. Also, the detainee’s father arrived in court and requested that his son be released in order to be with his family before his wife, who is at the end of her pregnancy and due any day now, gives birth. During the deliberations Honenu attorneys David HaLevi and Avichai Hajbi tried to obtain details about the incident, however the police representatives repeatedly referred the court to “confidential material” which they claimed linked the detainee to the incident. After six days during which the detainee continued to insist that he had no connection to the incident, he was released on Sunday, August 3 to five days of house arrest without ever having been brought to trial. Only after his release did it become known that the police suspected him of opening fire with plastic bullets, and not live bullets as had been understood during the court deliberations. Honenu attorney Avichai Hajbi, who represented the detainee responded, “From the beginning, there was not a hint of a clue that linked my client to the acts attributed to him other than supposed intelligence information, which in the end proved to be nonexistent . The Israeli Police did the correct thing when they, albeit belatedly, unconditionally released my client.” Honenu also responded, “Keeping a head of household without a criminal record in remand for six days, merely because of vague information about a suspicion of shooting plastic bullets, despite his complete denial, should embarrass the police no less than it should worry the public.”

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