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Unprecedented: State demands remand extension in absence of minor detainee

Monday, November 30, 2015, 12:14 Unprecedented conduct: The Attorney General’s office demanded that the Supreme Court extend the remand of a Jewish minor held by the GSS without his being present in court. The minor is banned from meeting with an attorney and the GSS refuses to reveal the charges against him. The Attorney General’s office filed an extremely unusual request to extend the remand of a minor held by the GSS without his being present in court and without his ever being brought to court, in order to keep his interrogation completely uninterrupted. The request was filed in accordance with a legal clause pertaining to detentions based on suspected security violations. The minor was detained on Wednesday, November 25, and has been forbidden to meet with an attorney. In addition, the Attorney General’s office and the police refuse to reveal the charges against him. On Monday, November 30, a deliberation on his case was expected to take place before a magistrate court, however on the night of Sunday, November 29 the head of the Criminal Department of the Attorney General’s office, Joey Ash, filed a request supported by the head of the GSS Department of Investigations and the Attorney General, according to which bringing the minor to a deliberation is liable to “prevent thwarting injury to human life”. A deliberation on the unusual request took place on Monday, November 30 and Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger judged the case. During the deliberation Ash admitted that he does not know if such a request has ever been filed by the Attorney General’s office. The lack of a precedent resulted in difficulty with handling the proceedings for all parties involved in the deliberation. Honenu Attorneys Chai Haber, Adi Kedar, and Ariel Atari, who represented the minor, severely criticized the conduct of the police and the GSS. The attorneys presented the decision of the district court judge who ruled on the case on Friday, November 27, which states that the ban on meeting with an attorney does not stem from concern about a danger to human life but rather from a concern over disruption of the investigation The attorneys reasoned that the decision should destroy the foundation on which the Attorney General’s office is basing their unusual request. The representative of the Attorney General’s office claims that stopping the detainee’s interrogation is liable to endanger human lives. The previous format of the clause on which the unusual request is based, was canceled by a panel of nine Supreme Court Justices who ruled that the request was not in accordance with the legislation. The clause was legislated again with slight changes and is currently being used. Honenu Attorney Chai Haber: “Unfortunately today the State of Israel entered the list of dark regimes which deprive suspects of their basic rights. In an unprecedented step, for five days, the State has prevented a minor detainee without a criminal record from meeting with an attorney. The minor has also not been allowed to be present at any of the deliberations on his remand. This has all been through using a legal clause which has not been used until now which is meant to be used against terrorists who are “ticking time-bombs”. One may say that the police and the GSS have made the minor disappear. Unfortunately there is a feeling of cooperation between many systems in order to use all the means possible, even if they are not proper, in order to break the spirit of the interrogated detainees.” Honenu Attorney Adi Kedar: “The request filed with the Supreme Court is a badge of shame for the law enforcement system, for the Attorney General’s office, and also for the court. This [the above-mentioned legal clause] is an unusual provision of law which exists only to deal with specific matters which create a certain, immediate and substantial danger to human life. During the deliberation we saw that the facts do not justify holding the detainee under such harsh conditions completely cut off from attorneys, his family and even from the court. He is being held under terrible conditions which are damaging his physical and emotional health. We expect the Supreme Court to cancel the [remand] order and censure the law enforcement system and the Attorney General’s office on the matter.”

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