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Youths released due to lack of evidence

Thursday, October 22, 2015, 14:57 On Thursday, October 22, the four youths detained at the Givat HaBaladim outpost near Kochav HaShachar on suspicion of having a connection to a backpack containing “the means to carry out a “price tag” [attack]”, have been released. There had been no developments in the investigation, which began with a dramatic announcement by the police. Contrary to what the police had announced, the backpack was not found on any of the detainees but rather in an open area of the outpost in which many youth were present, some of whom do not permanently reside in the outpost. The aforementioned backpack contained gloves, knitted hats (the type worn to obscure the wearer’s face), spray-paint and a manual gas pump, items which, in a deliberation on October 19, Judge Gabai Richter ruled were in the circumstances of this case insufficient evidence “to establish a cause for detention”. One of the youths had been in remand for almost a week and the other three had been held for three days. The youths had already been ordered released on Monday, October 19, by the Jerusalem Magistrate Court which ruled that there is no evidence implicating the detainees. However the Jerusalem District Court overturned the decision and left the detainees in remand until Thursday, October 22, in order to facilitate additional investigatory operations. After those operations also did not yield any results, the police requested that the detainees be conditionally released. In the end the detainees were released on condition of not entering the area of Givat HaBaladim for 30 days. Honenu attorney Avihai Hajbi, who represented the four detainees, stated after their release, “As I had thought from the start, there was no evidence to support the detention. Today the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police received a badge of shame, one of many they have received.”

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