Ben-Gvir acquitted of supporting terror groups

Judge cites evidentiary failures, slams prosecution for mixing evidence from two different investigations.

By
March 13, 2012 12:49
1 minute read.
Courtroom gavel [illustrative]

Justice gavel court law book judge 311. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

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.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Judge 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.

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD