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Minor unjustifiably held in remand

Thursday, July 30, 2015, 16:18 On Wednesday, July 29, a 14 year old minor was detained during the destruction of the Draynoff housing units in Beit El and brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court where representatives of the Department of Nationalist Crime in the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police requested that his remand be extended by three days. He is suspected of assaulting a policeman. The minor, who was never detained before, claimed that the police beat him. See here for more information. Judge Elazar Nachalon partially accepted the police request and extended the remand by one day and ruled that there is no cause to suspect that the youth will disrupt the investigation. Judge Nachalon justified the remand extension because the clashes at the scene, Beit El, were not yet over and therefore the youth still posed a danger and also because the youth’s parents did not appear at the deliberation. Judge Nachalon did not take into consideration either the explanation by Honenu attorney Avichai Hajbi, who is representing the youth, that the youth’s parents are on vacation in the north of Israel or the fact that the youth’s grandfather and aunt appeared at the deliberation by request of the youth’s parents. Despite the lateness of the hour, and because of the decision to keep the minor in remand, Honenu decided to file an urgent appeal with the Jerusalem District Court. A deliberation was scheduled for 22:30 with Judge Yoram No’am presiding. Judge No’am, who was called from his home to court, completely accepted Hajbi’s pleas and ruled that the suspicions against the minor did not justify his remand, partly because the destruction in Beit El was completed, and ruled that it was enough to ban him from the area. Judge No’am also ruled that the fact that the minor’s parents were on vacation in the North was a reasonable explanation for them not appearing at the deliberation, and that Judge Nachalon should have accepted the appearance of the minor’s grandfather and aunt as sufficient. At the end of the deliberation the minor was released on condition of several days of house arrest. Additionally another youth who was detained during the same incident in Beit El and whose remand was extended on Wednesday, July 29 by Judge Nachalon, was released the following morning at the police station without being brought to an additional deliberation. Honenu attorney Avichai Hajbi, who represented the minor, stated that, “The appeal was filed due to the reasoning that the decision by the [Jerusalem] Magistrate Court was in opposition to the most basic laws regarding the detention of minors. I am pleased that the [Jerusalem] District Court agreed that the decision handed down by the [Jerusalem] Magistrate Court was flawed at its basis. Honenu: “We are pleased that in the end the youth was released and not held for another night in the detention center at the Russian Compound. However we are concerned with the ease with which judges unnecessarily send minors lacking a criminal record to remand, which may have harsh ramifications.”

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