Justice gavel court law book judge 311.
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The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court ruled on Tuesday to acquit right-wing
activist Itamar Ben-Gvir of charges of providing support to two
designated terror groups, Kach and Kahane Chai.
Ben Gvir was
indicted in 2006, and charged with running activities on behalf of the
groups from a rental apartment on Jerusalem's Agripas Street. Allegedly,
he had kept extensive materials relating to the terror groups,
including CDs, labels, posters and leaflets, in the apartment.
Alexander Ron said the trial had been plagued with evidentiary
shortcomings and that "despite the severity of the charges attributed to
the defendant, the prosecution [had] not established an evidentiary
basis, as it is obliged to do."
The court therefore ruled to acquit, he said.
The judge said evidence from two investigations had been mixed with each other, and most of the evidence seized had been destroyed or lost.
"It is doubtful whether a so-called 'chain of evidence', exists at all as part of the 'links' [of that chain] are documents that nobody ever signed, and there are even more evidentiary failures," said Judge Ron.
The judge added that there had been documents shown in court, the publication of which "could constitute a serious offense."
"That, and the silence of the defendant in his investigation, leaves the court with a feeling of discomfort," he continued. "However, this does not 'cure' the shortcomings concerning the evidentiary basis."
The judge cited a 2002 Supreme Court ruling, that stated the prosecution has an obligation to keep detailed records in order to ensure the integrity of the investigation. Defects in this area could affect a defendant's right to due process and to mount an adequate defense, the Supreme Court said, and could result in a ruling of miscarriage of justice.