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(photo credit: screen shot)
Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court extended the remand for far-right wing activist Haim Pearlman on Monday for two more days. Pearlman is the key suspect in a string of murders of Palestinian men in Jerusalem in the 1990s and has been dubbed the "Jewish terrorist" by much of the Israeli press.
Judge Nahum Streinlicht's decision came as a blow to police and the prosecution which had asked to have Pearlman's remand prolonged by eight days to assist their investigation. Streinlicht indicated that he believed the case against Pearlman and the justification for keeping him under arrest were weak based on the evidence presented by police.
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"I have not found any substantial or serious evidence to indict Pearlman. I did not find anything suggesting real progress in the investigation [against Pearlman].
The judge indicated that Pearlman, who has been under arrest already for 28 days, had been imprisoned enough time to facilitate the state's investigation.
Pearlman was also initially denied the right to meet with his lawyer
by the justice system until a ruling by High Court justice Edmond Levi in July found that the state did not have sufficient reasons to continuing denying Pearlman legal advice and representation.
"I was not convinced to prevent the [suspects] from meeting with lawyers. There is not enough to serve a goal that cannot be achieved after the petitioners are given the chance to meet with their defense lawyers," Justice Levi wrote in his ruling.
initial remand hearing held in his absence,
police alleged that in
1998 and 1999 Pearlman, 30, from Beit Rabban near Yavne, went on a
stabbing spree, killing three Palestinians in the Jerusalem
neighborhoods of Mea She’arim and Abu Tor.
Pearlman released audio recordings to Channel 2 of an alleged Shin Bet
agent urging him to kill the head of the Islamic Movement’s Northern
Branch, Raed Salah, two days before he was detained that were broadcast
following his arrest. Pearlman claimed he was entrapped by the Shin Bet
and said the recordings were made sometime in the last few months.