Court denies legal counsel for Jewish suspects in case under gag order
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Court denies legal counsel for Jewish suspects in case under gag order

Justice Salim Jubran upholds ban due to ‘severity of the crimes’ and concerns that meeting with attorneys would hinder ongoing probe

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, December 16, 2014. (Isaac Harari/Flash90)
Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, December 16, 2014. (Isaac Harari/Flash90)

The Supreme Court on Sunday ruled that three suspects arrested in connection to a case under a gag order should be prevented from meeting with their lawyers due to the nature of the investigation and the severity of the crimes they are charged with.

The suspects, all of whom were arrested by the Shin Bet security service within the last month, have been denied legal council since the time of their arrest at the recommendation of the security service on the grounds it would obstruct their ongoing investigation and possibly thwart additional arrests of suspects believed to be involved in the yet to be named incident.

Last week, the three appealed the decision to Supreme Court, arguing that they did not pose a risk to the public or to the ongoing investigation.

Justice Salim Jubran however, did not agree.

“The overall picture presented in the classified information, and the fact that two of the suspects are minors, does not tip the scales at this time toward allowing them a meeting with their [legal] representatives,” Jubran wrote in his ruling, citing the “severity of the crimes attributed to the appellants, coupled with concerns of disrupting the investigation or thwarting additional arrests.”

In his ruling, Jubran noted that two of the suspects are minors, and the third is in his 20s. However no further details regarding the identities of the suspects was disclosed.

Police and Shin Bet security service agents recently arrested multiple Jewish terror suspects who may have been involved in the fatal firebombing of the Dawabsha family home in the West Bank village of Duma.

They said investigators were checking “concrete suspicions” that they were involved in the deadly attack, though there is a court-imposed gag order on the details of the investigation.

Inside the room of the Dawabsha home in Duma. A doll wrapped in a Palestinian flag rests in a stroller to honor Ali. (Eric Cortellessa/Times of Israel)
Inside the room of the Dawabsha home in Duma. A doll wrapped in a Palestinian flag rests in a stroller to honor Ali. (Eric Cortellessa/Times of Israel)

On Friday, another unidentified suspect arrested in connection to the Duma firebomb attack was released to house arrest.

The suspect is not believed to be directly responsible for the July terror attack by suspected Jewish extremists in the northern West Bank village of Duma, but is thought to be an indirect accessory to the act.

The suspect’s attorneys from the Honenu organization, which has previously offered legal aid to Jewish right-wing extremists, said his release highlighted the state’s lack of evidence in the case.

Suspected Jewish extremists torched the Dawabsha home on July 31 while the family slept. Ali Dawabsha, the family’s 18-month old son, died in the attack; his parents, Saad and Riham, succumbed to their injuries in Israeli hospitals in the aftermath of the attack.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this this report.

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