Hadash party chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh was convicted Sunday morning in a 2006 assault on a right-wing activist during a demonstration in Tel Aviv against the Second Lebanon War.
In the incident in question, Barakeh had rushed to the defense of left-wing activist Uri Avnery, who was allegedly being threatened by a right-wing activist at an anti-war demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square.
The ruling in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court exonerated Barakeh of several other charges, including obstructing a police officer in a demonstration in Bil’in in 2005.
It was not immediately clear when sentencing would take place.
The court had already tossed out two charges in November 2011, saying the disturbances fell within the purview of Barakeh’s parliamentary immunity and he therefore could not be charged in those incidents.
Hassan Jabarin, one of Barakeh’s attorneys and head of Adalah-the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, noted that the court also criticized police handling of the case and misuse of its arrest powers. He had called on Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to drop the remaining assault charge.
“This trial proved that the indictment formulated by the State Prosecutor’s Office and approved by then-attorney general [Menachem] Mazuz has collapsed shamefully,” said Barakeh. “I think that lawyers in the State Prosecutor’s Office and the former attorney general can’t pretend to be committed to justice and truth after such a collapse. I think there’s room to consult with my lawyers about filing a complaint against the State Prosecutor’s Office for negligence.”
There was no immediate response from the prosecution or police.