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Charges dropped against ultra-Orthodox man police framed for lockdown violation

Man received a NIS 5,000 fine reserved for illegal gatherings during the lockdown after cursing police officers from his window; plans to sue for compensation

Illustrative: An Ultra-Orthodox Jew prays a morning prayer at his house, during a lockdown following the government's measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, in Bnei Brak, Israel, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Illustrative: An Ultra-Orthodox Jew prays a morning prayer at his house, during a lockdown following the government's measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, in Bnei Brak, Israel, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Police have dropped their case against an ultra-Orthodox man they apparently tried to frame for violating the Passover 2020 lockdown, Channel 12 reported Monday.

After the man had cursed officers who were enforcing the lockdown, they entered his home and gave him a maximum fine of NIS 5,000 reserved for those attending illegal gatherings.

However, after his lawyer submitted footage supplied by the man, along with police body camera video that clearly showed the man had never left his property, police withdrew the criminal charge.

“You can actually hear it in the recording — they decided, ‘Let’s go up to him and give him a NIS 5,000 ticket,'” despite the man remaining in his home in accordance with lockdown guidelines, Shmuel Horowitz, the man’s lawyer, told Chanel 12.

Horowitz said that they are waiting for the judge involved to receive the police’s notification and close the case, after which they plan to sue for compensation.

Illustrative: Israeli police enforcing lockdown restrictions in Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv, January 25, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Horowitz also defended his client’s behavior in cursing the officers.

“They just closed the synagogue, it was a very sensitive time at the beginning of the coronavirus. People were a little shocked that they were not allowed to pray in the Jewish state,” Horowitz said and argued that the curses his client yelled at the police officers were not serious enough to warrant punishment.

In response, the police said in a statement that “after charges were filed, the prosecution received additional evidence that it did not have before. The prosecution then reexamined the evidence and decided to drop the charges.”

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