Supreme Court okays release of suspected accomplice in Duma firebombing
search

Supreme Court okays release of suspected accomplice in Duma firebombing

19-year-old suspected of planning 2015 terror attack that killed Palestinian couple and their infant child to be freed after judge rejects prosecution’s appeal

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

A man shows a picture of 18-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha, who died when his family house was set on fire by alleged Jewish extremists in the West Bank village of Duma, on July 31, 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)
A man shows a picture of 18-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha, who died when his family house was set on fire by alleged Jewish extremists in the West Bank village of Duma, on July 31, 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)

The Supreme Court on Sunday rejected the state’s appeal against releasing the alleged accomplice in the 2015 Duma terror attack to house arrest.

The suspect, now 19 but being tried as a minor, is accused of planning — along with primary suspect Amiram Ben-Uliel — the firebombing that killed toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha and his parents, Riham and Saad Dawabsha. He is set to be released later Sunday.

On Thursday the Central District Court green-lighted a highly restricted release for the suspect, who will wear an electronic monitor and be barred from contacting non-family members. However, Judge Ami Kobo granted the prosecution’s request for a stay in the detention of the teen, whose name has been barred from publication by privacy laws protecting minors. The following day, the Central District Attorney’s Office filed an appeal to the Supreme Court against the ruling.

Zion Amir, who represents the 19-year-old on behalf of the Honenu legal aid organization, said Sunday’s ruling was a correction of an injustice.

Amir said that after the over two-and-a-half years his client spent behind bars, “one must be comforted by two things: one being his release from detention, and the other being the court’s ruling regarding the torture that the minor underwent during his interrogations.”

The ruling came less than a month after the same court threw out several confessions made by the alleged accomplice tying him to the attack because they were extracted under extreme duress by interrogators of the Shin Bet security service.

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

The court also quashed a number of other confessions given by Ben-Uliel. However, Ben-Uliel’s remaining admissions of guilt that were not given under duress were apparently consequential enough that his attorney did not request a similar hearing requesting his release.

While the Central District Attorney’s Office has insisted that the decision to conditionally release the alleged accomplice does not change the likelihood that it would be able to convict both suspects, Sunday’s ruling marked a clear gut punch for both the prosecution and the Shin Bet.

Nasr Dawabsha, who has served as one of the guardians to the attack’s orphaned survivor Ahmed, told The Times of Israel on Thursday that the initial ruling “marked a dark day” for his family.

“This proves that the Israeli legal system is racist and is primarily responsible for the crimes committed by settlers,” he said.

read more:
comments
more less