Police prevent meeting with attorney, courts rules no evidence

Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 21:02 Interrogators from the Department of Nationalist Crime in the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police prohibited two minors 15 years of age detained on Monday, August 11 from meeting with an attorney. By special order the two detainees, one from Kiryat Sefer and the other from Nachaliel were prohibited from meeting with an attorney for 24 hours. The police claim that the two detainees were involved with setting an Arab vehicle on fire in the town of Beit Ilu approximately two weeks ago. The order, which is generally reserved for terrorists, was used against the detainees without the police collecting evidence, at least on one of them. On Tuesday, August 12 both detainees were brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court for a deliberation on the police request for an extension of their remand. The court ruled that there is no evidence against one of them and ordered his release. At the deliberation Honenu attorney Avichai Hajbi, who represented the released detainee, pointed to a string of problems with the interrogation. Contrary to the law the police did not invite the minors’ parents to the interrogation. One of the detainees said that the interrogators used various threats in order to persuade him to talk to them, even though he denied involvement with the incident. At the end of the deliberation Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Miriam Ilany ordered the release of the youth, who had never been previously detained, to house arrest. “There insufficient significant evidence to justify a reasonable suspicion of the defendant’s involvement in committing the crime,” wrote Judge Ilany . The police requested a delay in carrying out the decision, however in the end they refrained from appealing to the district court. The remand of the other detainee, who is being represented by attorney Ze’ev Wolf on behalf of Honenu and also denies all charges, was extended by three days. Honenu attorney Avichai Hajbi, responded to his client’s release, “It turns out that the Israeli Police forgot the axiom according to which justice must be pursued justifiably. The fact that the police prohibited my client – a 15 year old minor – from consulting with an attorney before his interrogation speaks as a thousand witnesses about the panic and lack of proportionality [in the conduct of the police]. It is sad to see that such conduct exists among the police.” Honenu responded, “We deplore the use the police makes of banning meetings with attorneys which deprives a suspect of the most basic right to which he is entitled. The seriousness of the situation is much more obvious now that the court has ruled that there is no body of evidence against one of the suspects.”

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