Sandak family petitions High Court of Justice
Updated: Apr 28, 2022
Honenu is representing those who are insisting on the investigation of the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l, who was tragically killed in a police car chase on December 21, 2020, and defending the many who are being detained while demonstrating for change in police behavior. The car Ahuvia was in with four other boys overturned when the police car collided with it from behind. Please click here for a list of posts connected to the case.
Wednesday, April 13, 2022, 10:57 The family of Ahuvia Sandak, z"l, who was killed in a police car chase in the Binyamin region in December 2020, has submitted a request to the High Court of Justice to obligate the State of Israel to pay legal expenses and attorney's fees due to their delay in transferring investigative material relevant to the death of their son. Only after many months of repeated requests by the family's attorneys on their behalf did the State of Israel agree to transfer the investigative material as required by law to them.
Honenu Attorney Ariel Atari, who is representing the family, sent a reply to the High Court of Justice explaining why the claims by the State of Israel that the investigative material had been transferred in an organized manner were incorrect: "My clients repeatedly requested the material from the representatives of the State [the office of the Attorney General and the office of the State Attorney], but none of the representatives replied to any of the requests, and none of them replied to the petitioners that there is no disagreement on the matter and that they should expect to receive the investigative material. If there had been such a reply, the petitioners would not have needed to prepare a detailed and well-founded petition as they did. The disregard of the State for the requests by the petitioners concerning the transfer of investigative material in the case is what led to them filing the petition. Unfortunately, only filing the petition against the State caused them to state that there was no disagreement with regard to transferring the material."
Additionally, Atari related to the claim by the government that the delay in transferring the material was caused in order to verify that the privacy of the other sides in the case was not violated: "The claim by the representative of the State with regard to the need for 'preparation' because of the unwillingness to cause damage to third parties, is empty of content in a case such as this: This is not a case of a sex crime, and on the face of it, the only person whose privacy there are grounds to preserve is the deceased. This claim by the State is an empty claim also in light of the fact that there is no dispute that according to the announcement by the State, the investigation was completed approximately eight months before the Attorney General publicized his announcement."
Atari stated that only filing the petition led to the transfer of the investigative material to the family: "It is understandable that the representatives of the Justice Ministry and the office of the State Attorney would take eight months to 'verify that no information that should not be transferred, would be transferred,' as they phrased it. This claim takes on more importance in light of the fact that during those months the representatives of the State knew that they must transfer the above-mentioned material to the attorneys of the suspects [the youths who were injured in the police car chase] whom the State announced that they would indict in this case. The fact that the representatives of the State announced that the material was ready for examination only approximately two weeks after the petition was filed indicates that filing the petition was the sole cause for the representatives of the State to start to prepare it," explained Atari.
In the conclusion of the response, Atari demanded that the High Court Justices obligate the State of Israel to compensate the Sandak family: "In light of the above, and in light of the transfer of material following the filing of the petition, the court is asked to obligate the respondent [the State] to pay the legal expenses and attorney's fees of the petitioners."
Honenu Attorney Ariel Atari, who is representing the Sandak family and Honenu: "The disrespect that the State exhibited in the investigation of the incident was expressed also in the disrespect by the State with regard to transferring the material in order to validate the decision not to put those responsible for the death of Ahuvia, z"l, on trial. Under these circumstances we expect the Supreme Court to censure such outrageous conduct and to obligate the State to compensate the family by paying for the relevant legal expenses."
The cause of Ahuvia Sandak's death was investigated by the Police Investigation Unit. During the final days of his term, former Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit ordered the closing of the case against the policemen from the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police who were involved with the police car chase. The investigative case was closed without anyone in the Israel Police or any of the policemen being penalized for the death of the youth.
With the closing of the case, the Sandak family announced that they would fight the decision, continue to demand answers, and continue to demand that those responsible for Ahuvia's death be brought to trial. Honenu is assisting the family in their fight.