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“In the absence of media pressure an indictment would not have been filed.”

Monday, May 26, 2014, 14:08 Three minors have been accused of puncturing tires and spray painting graffiti in the Galilee village of Gush Halav. “Apparently pressure from the media is what led to filing the indictment. In similar criminal proceedings an indictment is not filed at all on the basis of a body of evidence such as this,” said Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who is representing two of the minors against whom an indictment was filed on Monday, May 26 for involvement with a “Price Tag” incident in the Galilee village of Gush Halav. The claim in the indictment is that the three minors, residents of Jerusalem, the Har Hevron region and the Binyamin region, aged 15 and 17, arrived at the village of Gush Halav late at night on Wednesday, April 2, punctured the tires of 44 vehicles belonging to Arabs living in the village and spray painted graffiti. According to the indictment the incident occurred in response to the destruction of houses in Yitzhar. One of the youths is also accused of assaulting a policeman at the time of his detention. The three detainees, who initially were barred by a special order from meeting with an attorney, denied all charges during interrogation and maintained their right to remain silent. On Monday, May 26 the Natzrat District Court ordered a remand extension until Sunday, June 1 in order to allow the Honenu attorneys representing the detainees time to examine the evidence and respond to the indictment. “Already from reading the remand request one sees that there is no evidence directly connecting the suspects to the acts,” stresses Honenu attorney Adi Kedar. “This is a collection of circumstantial evidence and various opinions on which the State of Israel is attempting to base a case. The indictment was filed just a few hours ago. We will study the evidence, understand the picture more fully and response accordingly.” Also Honenu attorney Barak Friedman, who is representing one of the minors, responded similarly to the indictment. “The indictment which was filed today against the minors indicates how readily circumstantial evidence can be compiled, evidence the strength of which is highly doubtful, but which leads to an indictment,” said Friedman. “It seems that the misplaced enthusiasm which leads to indictments, come what may, must be stopped, and stopped quickly.”

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