Monday, November 7, 2011, 20:17 The downfall of the National Unit of Serious and International Crime Investigations: The Jerusalem Magistrates Court unconditionally released three detainees who had been indicted on suspicion of involvement with “price tag” incidents. A legal saga currently reached its end in the Jerusalem Magistrate Court. At the end of a deliberation lasting approximately three hours at the request of the National Unit of Serious and International Crime Investigations to keep in remand until the end of proceedings three youths who had been indicted on suspicion of involvement with “price tag” incidents, the court unconditionally released the three. This morning at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, the three youths, who were detained yesterday, were indicted on suspicion of plotting a crime. The incident, about which the three youths have been interrogated several times already and released, occurred approximately eight months ago. They were detained on their way to visiting rabbis’ graves in the north of Israel, and in their vehicle three bottles of gasoline were found. After a short investigation the three were released and sent on their way. The case was transferred to the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police, who detained them again and released them again as no evidence was found linking them to plotting a crime. The Attorney General’s office requested a remand extension until the end of proceedings against them, however, as stated above, after a deliberation lasting approximately three hours the three were unconditionally released. The judge ruled that not one new piece of evidence had been produced in the case and said that she does not understand what caused the police to detain them again. “Even if the facts in the charge sheet are correct, there is no cause to order their remand after they have already been released several times,” said the judge. At the beginning of the deliberation the judge turned to the attorneys from the Attorney General’s office and asked if they really believed that the case concerned the remand until the end of proceedings or if because there is a desire in the general public to put a stop to the “price tag” incidents they decided to issue a charge sheet and request the remand. Honenu Attorney David HaLevi, who represented the three youths, said after the deliberation that, “The court ordered the release of my clients, with absolutely no restrictive conditions, and even refused to delay carrying out the decision. The ruling speaks for itself. It appears to me that the court’s decision constitutes a suitable response to the improper conduct of the police and the Attorney General’s office, who attempted by any means to obtain a remand order for my clients, despite the fact that they have been interrogated and released several times in the past. “Very regrettably we get the impression that this case is an attempt to produce a detention with no legal basis, only ulterior motives and a desire to show that the police are acting against anyone who, according to their methods, is suspected of committing crimes they categorize as “price tag” incidents,” said HaLevi. Honenu Attorney HaLevi also noted that “The judge expressed astonishment at the conduct of the police and the manner in which part of the evidence in the case was ‘born’. The court mentioned that the additional evidence which supposedly was the justification for carrying out the repeated detention, is not sufficient to change the current status of the case. I estimate that in the end it will turn out that this case was a great deal of noise about nothing and hope that the Attorney General’s office will retract the indictment.” Honenu reports that,”The court put the police in their place. We hope that this is the end of the draconian conduct of the police and the Attorney General’s office, who detain individuals with no evidence for no reason. We call for an urgent house cleaning in the National Unit of Serious and International Crime Investigations, the Israeli Police and the Attorney General’s office.
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