What was beginning to look like a bona fide constitutional crisis (in a country without a constitution) ended Tuesday evening with the prosecution giving in to pressures from the Duma arson suspect’s attorneys who declared the state was in contempt of two consecutive court orders.
Earlier on Tuesday, according to the legal aid society Honenu, the State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan refused to let go of a suspect the Shabak had been keeping for more than a month, most of the time under incognito incarceration — defying an explicit court order.
According to Honenu, after the Central District Court of Lod rejected the police appeal and ordered the release under house arrest of the suspect in the Duma arson case, who now no longer faces those charges but a 2-year-old case of assault against a Bedouin, the Shabak informed the suspect’s attorneys they had orders from “high up” not to release him.
After several hours, the suspect’s lawyers and family were informed by the prosecution that the latter are appealing his release before the Supreme Court.
The boy was interrogated for 29 days by the Shabak, and for twenty days was barred from meeting with an attorney or seeing a judge. It is alleged that he was interrogated with extreme physical means, with court approval, including violent shaking, hitting, head banging against the wall, stretching his head back until he vomited, and sleep deprivation for stretches of three days and more.
The District Court also rejected the appeal filed by the suspect, leaving in place the parole conditions ruled yesterday by the Magistrate’s Court in Petah Tikva, including house arrest and financial bail.
The appeal, signed by Avi Tivoni from the Nationalist Crime Unit in Judea and Samaria said that “after the State Attorney had studied today’s District Court’s decision, this request for a stay of execution is being filed under his direction, to allow us time for an appeal.”
According to Honenu, the entire time during which the State Attorney was deliberating its appeal to the high court, they had no grounds to hold on to the suspect other than sheer brute possession, turning them into de facto kidnappers.
The suspect’s lawyers, Hai Habar and Adi Keidar, of Honenu, said in a statement: “This is an earthquake. The state prosecutor believes he has the ability to change judicial decisions even after the court has risen from its seat. The state prosecutor and the police are now partners in an illegal arrest of a person after the same person has been accused for nearly a month of involvement in the Duma case, which turned out yesterday to be unfounded.
“We declare that any additional minute the detainee remains incarcerated under the power of that demand constitutes a contempt of court decisions, and when it comes from someone who heads the system that is responsible for obeying those decisions, the message to the public is extremely problematic, and joins the conduct of the prosecution as demonstrated in this case and scandals that have recently been published in the media.”
And so, after a very long month of baseless incarceration under the most blatant violations of his human rights, according to the suspect’s attorneys, he was free to go to his home arrest and await his trial on something he did as a minor, in 2013.