The District Court in Lod on Monday acquitted Yinon Reuveni and a minor named Z, who were accused of setting fire to the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, of membership in a terrorist organization, and of other arson offenses. The acquittals came following an announcement by the Central District Attorney’s Office that it was retracting the indictment filed against the defendants, due to the disqualification of their confessions – because they were obtained through the use of torture.
Israel’s poet laureate Hayim Nahman Bialik once said he was dreaming of a Zionist state with Jewish policemen and Jewish prostitutes. Now he gets Jewish clandestine police torturers – it’s a full set.
After the admissions were thrown out, according to the State Attorney’s Office, it no longer had sufficient evidence to convict the two defendants.
The two defendants were also interrogated in relation to the Duma village arson case, in which the Dawabsheh family was murdered. Whatever was extracted from them under torture regarding that case should also be disregarded regarding the Duma village arson.
The trial in the case of Amiram Ben Uliel and another defendant, a minor, over their alleged involvement in the case, continues in the District Court in Lod – although it’s been quite some time since the event of July 31, 2015, and the current court proceedings, and since evidence given under torture is not likely to be considered – and would surely be quashed on appeal – it doesn’t look good for the government thugs.
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who represents Z., said in response to the acquittal decision: “For three years I have said in every possible forum that they tortured young Jews on political grounds, and I fought for their innocence. Today saw the end of one of the most grave cases in the history of Israeli law.”
Those who have followed the Jewish Press Online reports will remember how all the nation’s leaders: Defense Minister Ya’alon, President Rivlin, and Chief of Staff Eizenkot rushed to accuse the rounded up settlement youths of “Jewish terror,” and openly supported Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger, who betrayed the very idea of democracy when they approved the torture and humiliation of the suspects in the dungeons of the Shin Bet.
Will anyone prosecute these detractors of democracy now?
About two months ago, the District Court in Lod rejected all of Z’s confessions of supposed hate crimes while he was a minor. Instead, the judges accepted his claims that the confessions were extracted from him by improper means while he was a minor.
By improper means, you should know, we cited tying him up to a chair with his back arched down to the cement floor below him, for long interrogations sessions; threats on his life; threats on his mother’s life; verbal abuse galore – you know, the way police do it in North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Cuba, democracies, like.
Among other things, the under aged defendant Z admitted to setting fire to the Church of the Dormition in Jerusalem and other hate crimes, and was suspected of setting fire to vehicles and a grain warehouse in the village of Aqraba, south of Shechem. They literally punched it out of him.
“This is an important day for Israeli democracy,” said attorney Ben-Gvir on Monday, “The time has come for the Shin Bet and the police to know that the hilltop youths also have basic rights.”
Only last week, the enemies of democracy in the Labor Party and others tried to disqualify the candidacy of Ben-Gvir’s colleagues in the Jewish Power Party. Will there be anyone who will now disqualify one of the Blue and White party leaders, Moshe Ya’alon, for trampling democracy with his military boots?
Lock him up.
“In this case all the red lines were crossed, and I am glad that the court accepted our arguments and rejected the confessions,” Ben-Gvir said.
The judge ruled that “from the first moment, the defendant received an alienated treatment by the inexperienced interrogators … The offenses of which the defendant was accused were serious, but his right to due process was violated.”
The State Prosecutor’s Office said in response: “The defendant was charged with serious offenses, which also have implications in the international arena. In this case, Shin Bet and police interrogators carried out an exercise in extracting information that they believed was within the limits of the law. A mini-trial was conducted on this issue and the court today threw out the confessions, and we will study the decision in-depth and will consider our next steps.”
Here’s a recommendation to the State Prosecutor’s Office: Stop torturing defendants. Stop humiliating minors. Stop making up accusations. Act as though you live in a democratic state – although it is clearly difficult for you.
Last June, the Lod District Court rejected the confessions of the accused minor in the arson murder of three members of the Dawabsheh family in Duma village, because said accused had been tortured. However, Judge Ruth Lorch confirmed the confessions of the main defendant, Amiram Ben Uliel, which were collected after the application of torture. Meanwhile, all the confessions of the second defendant in the case, who was tortured by the Shin Bet, were thrown out.
The court only accepted one confession by the minor, despite the fact that it was obtained under torture, the one where he pointed to Ben Uliel as responsible for the murder of the Dawabsheh family. And so the State Prosecutor’s Office has not retracted the indictment against Ben Uliel for murdering the three members of the Dawabsheh family.
It stands to reason that this last confession given under torture would also be struck down on appeal. But if the prosecutors give up this case, too, what career can they expect? Are these lawyers fit enough to chase ambulances?
“These measures severely violated the defendants’ fundamental right to preserve the integrity of their body and the soul,” the court ruled.
Good enough. So, when will the first criminal suit be filed not only against the thugs of the Jewish department of the Shin Bet, but also against the criminals Weinstein and Danziger?
Lock them up!