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Police illegally destroyed impounded car

Impounding the car; Photo credit: Courtesy of the photographer

Impounding the car; Photo credit: Courtesy of the photographer

Monday, August 24, 2020, 15:23 A Yitzhar resident is suing the Israeli Police over destroying his impounded car and claiming that it had been lost. When the statement of claim was initially filed, the claimant had been unaware that the police had intentionally destroyed his car. It turned out that despite the announcement which the police had transferred to the court, according to which the car had disappeared without their knowledge, the car had been destroyed under their orders and in the presence of a police superintendent representing them. After discovering this, the claimant filed a new statement of claim against the Israeli Police. The requested amendments are in accordance with the developments in the case. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado filed the original suit on behalf of the claimant, stating that the police had impounded the claimant’s car in April 2019, and had not returned it on the date determined by law after the duration of the impoundment. When the claimant asked the police to return his car, they did not reply to his request. The claimant filed a request with the court for the police to return his car, and at the end of the proceedings, the court ruled that the police are obligated to return the car to its owner. At that point the police announced that the car had disappeared. From the statement of claim: “[The defendant] did not take the trouble to inform the claimant that his vehicle had disappeared. They left the claimant waiting for an additional six weeks without a vehicle and without informing him that he should not expect to receive his vehicle that had somehow disappeared and been lost.” Later the police transferred the responsibility for losing the car to Shagrir, the company that had towed the impounded car. After the lawsuit was publicized, Shagrir informed the court that the car had been destroyed under orders from the police. The amendments to the suit which the claimant has requested include, “The Israeli Police destroyed the vehicle without authorization, and afterwards concealed the destruction from the court,” and “The Israeli Police crudely violated the regulations and the law.” The new claims relate to the fact that the owner of the car is a right-wing activist, and that destroying the car was intentional. “[The destruction of the vehicle involved] negligence and intentional acts by a particular policeman or by the Israeli Police as a whole in order to cause damage to the claimant. The claimant will claim that because he is a right-wing activist… his activities motivated the police to illegally destroy his vehicle.” The request for the amendments concludes with “It could not have been an innocent destruction,” and a demand by the claimant for compensation over mental anguish and “a malicious act whose only purpose was intentional harassment by the authorities of the claimant.” Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado: “Anyone with intelligence understands that improper actions were taken by the police: the illegal and unauthorized destruction of the car, the report to the court which concealed the destruction, and the attempt to place the responsibility on ‘Shagrir’ as a contractor. This unacceptable situation demands a clarification. I hope that at the end of the inquiry we will know which authorities gave the orders to act illegally, and who the authorities were who concealed their acts from the court, and maybe from the attorney representing the police herself. It will all be clarified in the lawsuit which we filed.”

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