Soldier detained on suspicion of “Price Tag” incident

Sunday, May 25, 2014, 17:14 A soldier serving in IDF Base 80 (basic training) was detained on Monday, May 19 by the Central Unit for Special Investigations, a special unit of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the IDF, on suspicion of involvement with an incident in which the tires of an army vehicle on the base were punctured and graffiti was written on it, including “Price Tag” and “Murder the Pope”, apparently in protest of the Pope’s visit to Israel. The soldier was held in remand for two days of interrogation and then released after no connection between him and the incident was proven. The soldier, who received legal counsel from Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, denied all charges and asserts that he is not connected to the incident. An additional soldier was also interrogated in connection with the incident. According to sources close to the soldier, during his interrogation his interrogators told him that they had gone over lists of soldiers serving on the base and decided to detain him. Additionally he was told that he was under surveillance. It is worthy of note that before his enlistment the soldier was a student of Yeshivat Kever David HaMelekh, which is located in the King David’s Tomb complex. He also wears a large kippa and has long payot. The interrogators demanded that the soldier write 15 times the wording of the graffiti spray-painted on the army vehicle, apparently in order to compare his handwriting with the graffiti. After two days the soldier was released and returned to his army unit without having been brought to a deliberation before an army court. No connection was found between him and the incident. Without any connection to his previous detention the soldier was detained on the night of Saturday, May 24 at the King David’s Tomb complex when policemen removed everyone present at the site. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who is representing the soldier, stated in response, “In addition to the police and the GSS it seems that also the army is not capable of handling minor incidents in a suitable manner. It is a shame that the army has been drawn into the media uproar over “Price Tag” incidents and sent a special unit created to handle serious crime and [illegal] weapons’ trade to investigate an incident of spray-painted graffiti. This is an example of abuse of authority which causes further schisms and animosity between sectors of the population.”

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