Victim of mistaken identity to receive compensation
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado; Photo credit: Honenu
Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 9:31 Due to the similarity of his name to that of someone who posted incitement against the LGBT community and the Ashdod Pride March on Facebook, David Cohen, an approximately 50 year-old K’far Saba resident, was interrogated twice, detained, and placed under complete house arrest for five days. Additionally, his cell phone was confiscated and he was obligated to post 2,500 NIS bail. The incident occurred in July 2019 and in October of the same year, Cohen sued the Israeli Police for 70,000 NIS over false detention, unreasonable release conditions, violation of privacy (confiscation of cell phone), illegal handcuffing, and slander. Initially the police filed a statement of defense, but subsequently they agreed to a compromise and will pay Cohen 16,000 NIS in compensation. The suit, which was filed by Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, mentions that Cohen’s routine was interrupted by the detention and the interrogations, causing the entire family stress. Additionally, after Cohen publicized in the media how the police had mistakenly identified him, the police slandered him on a Channel 12 (Israeli) program. From the suit: “[Reporter] Moshe Nussbaum read a response from the police which included baseless defamation, which was knowingly transmitted, according to which the claimant had publicized offensive statements objecting to the LGBT community in the past, which is completely untrue. “Furthermore, Nussbaum stated in the name of the Israeli Police that the claimant does work in Ashdod, and in conclusion stated that according to intelligence evaluations the claimant is the wanted man. This media defense is a fraudulent defense, which was publicized for the ratings on Channel 12, to the whole world, and was an acute insult to the claimant, many of whose acquaintances asked him about the defamation by the Israeli Police. This caused the claimant and his family an additional and unjustified insult.” Initially, the police filed a statement of defense in which they denied that they had transferred such a response to Nussbaum: “Any claim regarding publication of fraudulent and/or offensive and/or other information in the case of the claimant is denied…” However, later the police agreed to the compromise and will pay compensation. David Cohen, who resides in K’far Saba and works in Jerusalem, has no connection to the City of Ashdod. The claim by the police is based on the name of the person who posted the incitement on Facebook, David Tzvi: The claimant’s full name is David-Tzvi Cohen. During an interrogation at the Russian Compound, Cohen explained to the police that his Facebook account, which he opened ten years ago, is completely inactive and that he does not use his middle name. Despite his explanation, Cohen was detained and taken to the Ashdod Police Station, where his cell phone was confiscated and he was obligated to post 2,500 NIS bail before being released to house arrest. His phone was returned three weeks after his detention. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who is representing Cohen: “The State of Israel did not have a genuine defense for the false detention and therefore they very quickly agreed to a compromise and closed the case, which should have never been opened.” See here, here, and here for similar cases.