Court to mull releasing Duma firebomb suspect to house arrest
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Court to mull releasing Duma firebomb suspect to house arrest

Right-wing legal aid group Honenu praises judge for weighing move; 19-year-old is awaiting trial for role in deadly 2015 attack on Palestinian family

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

Palestinians look at the damage after a house was set on fire and a baby killed, allegedly by Jewish terrorists, in the West Bank village of Duma, on July 31, 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)
Palestinians look at the damage after a house was set on fire and a baby killed, allegedly by Jewish terrorists, in the West Bank village of Duma, on July 31, 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)

A Central District Court judge has ordered a hearing for later this week to consider releasing an alleged accomplice in the 2015 Duma terror attack to house arrest.

The 19-year-old suspect has been held on charges of accessory to murder for his alleged role in the July 2015 firebombing. His name has not been released as he was a minor at the time of the firebombing, which killed toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha and his parents, Riham and Saad Dawabsha. Another son, Ahmed Dawabsha, who was five years old at the time, underwent months of treatment for severe burns sustained in the attack.

The decision by the judge at the Central District Court came despite opposition from the State Attorney’s Office, according to Honenu, which provides legal aid to far-right Jewish activists.

Honenu lawyer Adi Keidar said he was pleased by the decision.

Saad and Riham Dawabsha, with baby Ali (Channel 2 screenshot)

“I am happy that the court is moving forward with us step by step,” he said, adding he hoped the hearing would result in his client’s release.

Prosecutors have requested that the suspect be kept behind bars until the end of legal proceedings against him.

The panel of judges of the Central District Court in Lod reads out its decision in the pre-trial motion regarding the admissibility of the confessions given by the two Jewish suspects in the Duma terror case after they were tortured by Shin Bet interrogators, on June 19, 2018. (Jacob Magid/Times of Israel)

Last month, a panel of Central District Court judges ruled that confessions given under duress by the unnamed suspect must be thrown out.

The remaining professions of guilt that were ruled admissible in the case did not directly tie the suspect to the attack, leading the defense to submit a request to release the defendant, who has been in jail since December 2015.

The prosecution has insisted that it still has enough evidence to prosecute the alleged accomplice despite the invalidated confessions.

The 19-year-old and Amiram Ben-Uliel, who has been charged with murder, have claimed innocence, insisting they only confessed to the crime after being subjected to torture at the hands of Shin Bet interrogators.

No hearing has been scheduled for Ben Uliel, the primary suspect who’s been charged with three counts of murder. While the court did throw out a number of confessions he gave as well, a number of incriminating ones connecting him to the attack were ruled admissible in the case against him.

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