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More evidence lost in ‘Wedding of Hate’ case

Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 18:57 On Monday, April 29, during an evidentiary hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court, it was revealed that a Division of Identification and Forensic Science (DIFS) file containing examination results with which the prosecution planned to prove that the defendants waved a genuine weapon during the ‘Wedding of Hate’, has been lost. The ‘Wedding of Hate’ is the name colloquially given to a December 2015 wedding at which participants were seen waving weapons and slashing photographs of the infant who died in the July 2015 arson incident in Kfar Duma. At the evidentiary hearing, witnesses from the Israeli Police arrived to give testimony. One of them was an expert who had given his opinion that there is a positive match between the weapon that the groom and one other defendant had waved, and a genuine weapon which one of them holds by license. The Attorney General’s office called the expert up to the witness stand in light of the response by the defendants that the weapon was a toy. During cross examination by Attorneys Itamar Ben-Gvir and Yitzhak Bam and Honenu Attorneys Adi Keidar, David HaLevi, Avichai Hajbi and Moshe Poleski, it was revealed that the DIFS file on which the expert intended to prove his claims had been lost. When the expert was asked if he had conducted a reenactment or an authentication examination, he revealed that the file had disappeared and that, “They looked for the file until morning, but did not find it.” The significance is that again evidence central to the claims of the prosecution has been lost. During the first deliberations it was revealed that the police had lost the original recording of the wedding. See here for a ruling from the same month in which the Jerusalem Magistrates Court awarded 10,000 NIS in compensation to a detainee who had been a guest the ‘Wedding of Hate’, about whom a policeman had submitted false information to a judge. The court ruled that there had been “negligence and a breach of duty of care”. Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir spoke on the morning of Tuesday, April 30: “When an indictment influenced by political persecution is filed, it is no wonder that more and more evidence in the case is lost and flaws are repeatedly revealed. The time has come for the police and the Attorney General’s office to stop the persecution of the defendants and to retract the baseless and most problematic indictment, which contradicts the principles of democracy.” Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar stated that, “Once again we have encountered serious and extreme oversights by the prosecution in the handling of the ‘Wedding of Hate’ case. The State regarded filing the baseless and fundamentally discriminatory indictment with such importance that [the prosecution], in a convoluted way, and in an idiotic attempt to convict innocent defendants, violated their [the defendants’] privacy and entered the wedding – a private event. Time after time we have encountered significant evidence that has disappeared and gone lost. We will continue to defend the obvious innocence of the defendants and continue to point out the oversights of the prosecution, and their desire to convict the defendants at any price. It is all under the direction of Shai Nitzan, the State Attorney.”

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