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Police request remand extension, judge orders release

Sunday, July 13, 2014, 13:09 On Thursday, July 10 two youths, one a Jerusalem resident and the other a Shomron resident, were detained at the Jerusalem recruiting office on suspicion of distributing leaflets opposing the security situation in Israel and the conduct of the army against terror, and also spraying a malodorous substance in the office. One of the two detainees was taken in for interrogation at the Lev HaBira Police Station in Jerusalem and then released on condition of a restraining order banning him from entering the enlistment office. The other detainee was taken to the Department of Nationalist Crime in the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police and on Friday, July 11 was brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court for a deliberation. Honenu attorney Naftali Wertzberger, who is representing the youth, found out that the police interrogators claim that the youth is also suspected of spray painting “Price Tag” on the enlistment office approximately six months ago. The youth was not presented with any evidence connecting him to the incident other than his presence at the office on the same day after he was summoned for examinations by the army. Even though the violations of which the detainee was accused were minor the police requested a remand extension of five days. The police interrogators explained that they intend to consult the Attorney General’s office in order to file an indictment by accelerated proceedings against the youth. Honenu attorney Naftali Wertzberger opposed the request and pleaded that there was no cause to keep the youth in remand. Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Hagit Mak-Kalmanovitch ruled that there was a reasonable suspicion against the youth but there was no cause to keep him in remand and also drew criticism on the disproportionate request of the police in relation to the minor violation. Following Judge Mak-Kalmanovitch’s order the police interrogators agreed at the end of the deliberation to release the youth on condition of a restraining order banning him from entering the enlistment office and posting 500 NIS bail. “Apparently someone was confused. The Attorney General’s orders to pursue ‘Price Tag’ offenders are detached from reality,” said Wertzberger. “Judge Mak-Kalmanovitch did not hide her disapproval of the police request to detain a minor for five days for writing ‘Price Tag’ on the bathroom of the enlistment office and ordered the immediate release of my client.”

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