A Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court on Monday released to house arrest a young Jewish man who just spent 29 days in Shin Bet custody as a suspect in the Duma terrorist attack.
His release was delayed, however, after the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) appealed the order. A second hearing on the matter will be held Tuesday.
The judge issued the order after the prosecutor said pending charges against the 18-year-old were not related to the torching of a home in the West Bank village of Duma in which three Palestinians were killed.
Until Monday’s hearing, the young man’s family, as well as his attorney, Hai Haber, had understood that the 18-year-old is a suspect in the Duma killings.
To their surprise, when the charges were read out, they involved a two-year-old case with respect to a fight with a Beduin in which he was allegedly involved.
“After all the publicity and all the media hype, the prosecutors’ statement didn’t even deal with Duma, but with an old incident,” Haber said.
“It is both sad and serious that in the State of Israel a suspect can be arrested in connection with a murder case, interrogated for almost 30 days in poor condition and barred from meeting with his attorney for 17 days. The prosecutor presents secret documents to the court, speaks of his involvement with Duma and then comes to the court with charges from an old case,” Haber said.
He charged that in those 29 days the 18-year old was tortured by the Shin Bet and was deprived of both sleep and food. “For a month he was held in a room with only a mattress and a pail.”