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Judge Romanov conformed to the system: Youths who entered Jordan kept in remand

Wednesday, December 14, 9:27 In an unprecedented and difficult to understand decision, last night Judge Romanov accepted the appeal filed by the police and extended the remand of the activists from an organization calling on Jews to renew a Jewish presence in cities once Jewish but now considered by most to be Arab, who were arrested in Jordan. At the end of a deliberation which ended at midnight, the judge accepted the appeal and extended the remand of 15 activists by three days. Last evening the Jerusalem Magistrate Court released 15 activists who had crossed the border fence and founded an outpost in Jordan. Judge Shaham gave the group a restraining order and ordered them to post a large bond. The police persisted in an appeal on the decision and strangely, despite the late hour, Judge Romanov scheduled a deliberation on the appeal for the same evening, less than one hour after the appeal was filed, a very rare occurrence. At the end of the deliberation, which ended at midnight, the judge accepted the appeal filed by the police and extended the remand by three days, even thought the police had requested only a two-day remand. Honenu reports that at the beginning of the week the organization filed an appeal on the remand of a minor who had been held for over a week, however Judge Romanov ruled that due to the fact that the appeal was filed at 17:00, the deliberation would be scheduled for the following day. “How is it that in this instance when the appeal was filed by the police after 19:00, the deliberation was scheduled for the same evening?” questions Honenu. A right-wing source who was present in the courthouse says that this is a most odd decision, “Judge Romanov behaved yesterday as if someone in the government briefed him and ordered him how to decide. The police requested a two-day remand extension and he extended the remand by three days. The police filed an appeal and he scheduled the deliberation within an hour. During the entire deliberation he asked questions in a biased manner – only against the suspects. Yesterday news came out according to which [Justice Minister] Ne’eman would speak with [Supreme Court President] Beinisch and request a harsh punishment. It appeared as if Ne’eman also spoke with Judge Romanov. The judge forgot that he is a judge and behaved like all the politicians lacking restraint who speak out against the hilltop youth.” Honenu attorney Naftali Wertzberger, who is representing the arrestees, said in response that, “We are considering turning to the Supreme Court. Instead of maintaining democracy and freedom of expression, the court has joined with the forces trying to harm democracy and inappropriately reduce freedom of expression.”

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