Court rejects state appeal to cancel Dirani's damages suit

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

July 18, 2011 21:31
1 minute read.
Mustafa Dirani.

dirani. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])


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The Supreme Court ruled Monday to reject the state’s appeal against a ruling made by the Tel Aviv District Court to permit Lebanese terrorist Mustafa Dirani to sue the state for damages.

Dirani, a former leader of Lebanese terrorist group Amal, was believed to have had personal knowledge of the whereabouts of kidnapped IAF navigator Lt.-Col. Ron Arad. Amal forces captured Arad in October 1986 during a mission to attack PLO targets near Sidon in Lebanon.

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Report: IDF doctor says Dirani was raped

In 1994, then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin ordered Israeli commandos to raid Dirani’s house. The terrorist leader was brought to Israel and held in administrative detention.

In 2000, Dirani filed a NIS 6 million suit in the Tel Aviv District Court, charging that interrogators had raped him, sodomized him with a club, kept him naked for weeks and humiliated him in an effort to extract information about Arad’s whereabouts.

Dirani was released in 2004 as part of a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, despite a lawsuit by Arad’s family to try to prevent his release. In return, Hezbollah returned the bodies of three IDF soldiers killed by Hezbollah in October 2000 and kidnapped Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum.

In 2005, the Tel Aviv District Court rejected the state’s request to cancel the lawsuit.

The state had argued that Israel should act in accordance with Anglo-American law, which prohibits an enemy of the state residing in a hostile country from suing the state.

The state immediately appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

In rejecting the state’s appeal, judges Ayala Procaccia, Salim Jubran and Hanan Meltser wrote that in cases of alleged human rights violations by the state, it is “justified that the issue will be clarified before the state’s law courts.”

The judges went on to write that: “This statement is right also in regard to opening the courts’ doors to hostile parties in order to hear their claims regarding damages caused to their rights by state authorities. This is not a danger to the state’s power, but is actually a guarantee of its moral and ethical strength.”

Following Monday’s ruling to reject the appeal, Dirani will be permitted to continue his lawsuit against the state.

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