Unmarked police car rams youths’ car, killing one – Day 25

Updated: Aug 3

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 Tevet 6 5781/ 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.

Scene of the accident; Photo credit: Elazar Riger

Thursday, January 14, 2021 10:22 Medic describes accident scene The medic who arrived first on the scene after the accident in which Ahuvia Sandak, z”l, was killed described what he saw. He had been on a routine drive when the call came in: “On Monday, we were driving to Jerusalem and on the way, near Kochav HaShahar, I received a call about a serious traffic accident on the road going up to Ba’al Hatzor. I drove up and arrived at a scene with a crushed car. There were four detainees, some of them injured, two of them next to the car with their arms handcuffed behind their backs. The other two were handcuffed on chairs with their backs to each other. “I started to treat them. At some point I asked the police, the detective who was there, if he could handcuff the injured in front instead of behind their backs so that I could check their vital signs – blood pressure, pulse. These are signs which give me an indication of whether or not, G-d forbid, there are internal injuries. He paid no attention to me, none at all. “I understood that insisting would get me nowhere. I continued to treat the injured. At some point another medic joined us, and an ambulance crew. They were busy with the other injured. Another medic and I were with the moderately injured youth. Together we lifted him onto a stretcher and secured him. At this stage, which was after a quarter hour of treatment, we asked the detective if he could move the handcuffs to the front so that we could lay [the injured youth] down. At this point he moved the handcuffs.

Scene of the accident; Photo credit: Free use

“After that we fully secured him and asked who could help, because it takes four people to lift the stretcher into the ambulance. They [the police] paid no attention to us. There were 4-5 policemen from the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police, and they were on their phones. They did everything except help us. Really, all that time there was about half a minute that we asked for help: Who could help us lift the injured? A policeman in blue [i.e. not from the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police] and a soldier came and together we lifted the injured into the ambulance.” Over the past few days the media have revealed that a bus full of soldiers who passed by the scene before the rescue crew arrived offered assistance and was refused by the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police detectives.

10:40 Supreme Court rejects petition Today (Thursday), the Supreme Court rejected the petition filed by Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado on behalf of the Sandak family requesting that the court order the police not to involve themselves with the investigation of the death of their son Ahuvia, z”l, but rather to leave the investigation entirely to the Police Investigation Unit (PIU)), because of the conflict of interest of the policemen. The Supreme Court allowed the police to continue their involvement in the investigation by means of a joint team of policemen from the Central Unit of Tel Aviv Police and PIU personnel. Yado: “A youth was killed. No-one disputes that policemen were involved with his death. All that we ask is for an impartial investigation that will not be tainted. Unfortunately the Supreme Court did not give us this succor. “Every child understands that the police should not investigate themselves. It’s a conflict of interest. The investigation must not be untrue or unjust. “The citizens of Israel and the family deserve an investigation that will seek the truth, and not a showcase investigation, with more flaws than strengths. We will continue our efforts to ensure that answers are given to the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l. The family and also millions of Israeli citizens are concerned by the conduct of the authorities in this case.”

Ahuvia’s family; Photo credit: David Yosef Even Denan

11:00 Statement from Avraham and Ayelet Sandak Avraham and Ayelet Sandak, Ahuvia’s parents: “Yesterday we were present at a court deliberation under the auspices of Judge Weinshall. It was noticeable that he, like us, found it correct to examine the facts up close in light of the impression that the investigation has been handled in a scandalous manner. We hope and believe that justice will come to light and that the policemen who killed our Ahuvia will be penalized.”

14:21 Youths released from house arrest Three and a half weeks after four youths were injured in the accident in which Ahuvia Sandak, z”l, was killed, the conditions imposed on the youths have been lifted. Since the day of the accident until today, the injured youths had been under house arrest, which was extended from time to time in court. Today the police informed the youths that they do not intend to extend the restrictive conditions. Honenu Attorneys Nati Rom and Adi Keidar represented the youths. Keidar: “After a legal battle all of the suspects were released from remand, and today they were released also from an overly long and superfluous house arrest. Still, it is saddening and outrageous that the policemen suspected in the incident have not been detained or interrogated and have not even been under restrictive conditions, despite their exclusive responsibility for the accident and also for handling the scene immediately afterwards. “The remand and house arrest of the youths were unnecessarily extended even in light of the distorted evidence presented in court. Yesterday during the Supreme Court deliberation the representative of the Attorney General’s office expressed doubts concerning the facts as presented by the police in court. In light of the conduct of the Israeli Police and the Police Investigation Unit, it is doubtful that there will be a genuine investigation in this case.”

14:57 Activists unconditionally released The Petah Tikva Magistrates Court ordered the unconditional release of activists who were detained on suspicion of organizing demonstrations opposite the homes of detectives from the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police who were involved with the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l. In his decision, Petah Tikva Magistrates Court Judge Oded Moreno ordered the immediate release of the activists as he censured the police for their detention and for the attempts by the police to prevent the demonstration. The activists are members of a group that has been protesting in Ma’aleh Adumim opposite the home of one of the detectives who was in the police car that rammed the youths’ car. Additionally, over the past few days the activists located the address of the detective who was driving the police car and have started organizing a demonstration opposite his home in K’far Yona. Honenu Attorney Chai Haber, who is representing the activists: “Today we saw a new level of the police, who detained people only because they wanted to hold a legal protest. We arrived in court and showed them the facts. The court ruled that there was no suspicion of committing a crime and ordered their immediate release from remand.”

19:08 Judge Weinshall to oversee investigation Judge Eliad Weinshall rejected the request by the State of Israel to reject out of hand the appointment of an investigative judge in the case of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l. Judge Weinshall will continue to follow and oversee the investigation. He also scheduled a supplemental deliberation for several weeks time. He also ordered all of the investigative material transferred to him before the deliberation. Honenu Attorney Ariel Atari: “We welcome the decision by Judge Weinshall. The judge rejected the request by the State not to intercede in the investigation and decided that there were grounds to appoint an investigative judge to determine the circumstances of Ahuvia’s death. Moreover, the judge reasoned that there were grounds to continue to oversee the investigation and scheduled an additional deliberation in order to continue overseeing the handling of the investigation. This decision could reduce the likelihood of tampering with and coordinating testimonies, as has happened up until now.”

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