Court okays further hearing on terrorist's lawsuit

Dirani claims he was assaulted in 1994 under interrogation for Ron Arad, filed NIS 6m. damages suit against the state.

January 2, 2012 13:29
2 minute read.

Dirani_311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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The Supreme Court accepted a request by the state on Monday for an additional appeal hearing on Lebanese terrorist Mustafa Dirani’s NIS 6 million damages suit against Israel.

Deputy Supreme Court President Eliezer Rivlin ruled that an expanded panel of justices will review the matter of whether Dirani should be allowed to proceed with his lawsuit, filed in the Tel Aviv District Court in 2000.

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Court rejects state appeal to cancel Dirani's damages suit

Monday’s decision came after a majority Supreme Court ruling in July dismissed the state’s appeal against a 2005 Tel Aviv District Court ruling allowing Dirani to sue Israel.

Dirani, a Lebanese citizen, claims that while in administrative detention in Israel, interrogators raped him, sodomized him with a club, kept him naked for weeks and humiliated him in an effort to extract information about missing soldier Ron Arad’s whereabouts.

In July’s Supreme Court hearing, the state argued that the court should dismiss Dirani’s lawsuit outright and act in accordance with Anglo-American law, which prohibits enemies of the state residing in hostile countries from suing Israel. However, Justices Ayala Procaccia (ret.) and Salim Joubran ruled that the case should be clarified on its merits. (Justice Hanan Melcer voted against the decision.) Following Monday’s decision, the state will have a second chance to present its arguments before an expanded panel, likely consisting of five Supreme Court justices.

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, an NGO, welcomed the decision to hold an additional hearing.

“Dirani and other enemies of Israel are standing and laughing at the upside-down policy of a court that prioritizes their interests over those of the state,” said Nachi Eyal, Legal Forum director-general. “It is absurd to allow an enemy to sue the state.”

Dirani is a former leader of Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist group Amal, whose forces captured IAF navigator Lt.- Col. Ron Arad in October 1986 during a mission to attack PLO targets near Sidon in Lebanon. In 1994, Dirani was captured after thenprime minister Yitzhak Rabin ordered a raid on his house, believing that the terrorist leader had personal knowledge of Arad’s whereabouts.

Dirani was released in 2004 as part of a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, despite a High Court of Justice petition by Arad’s family to prevent this. In return, Hezbollah released kidnapped Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum along with the bodies of three IDF soldiers they had murdered in October 2000.

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