Three suspects in rape case of 7-year-old Binyamin girl released

Release of three suspects comes after brief detention on Tuesday

Scene of the crime (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Scene of the crime
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Three suspects, two Palestinians and a Jewish driver, were released Tuesday after being arrested and brought in for questioning earlier that morning for alleged involvement in the rape of a 7-year-old in the Binyamin region earlier this year, Israeli media reported.
Two of the suspects were previously detained for questioning about two months ago. The driver was arrested for the first time by the Judea and Samaria District investigative unit and was interrogated about several details that emerged in the latest round of the investigation.
At the end of June, one of the suspects in the case was released after 55 days in custody.
The suspect, a resident of the West Bank town of Deir Qaddis near Modi’in Illit, was employed as a janitor in the girl’s school in the settlement. He was initially charged with the rape, assault and abduction of the child.
However, a few days after the story broke in the media, IDF military advocate-general Maj.-Gen. Sharon Afek withdrew the indictment. The case had turned into a political football, with right-wing politicians calling it a hate-motivated “terrorist attack.”
The man, Mahmoud Katusa, asked to close the case against him in an interview that aired Monday night on Channel 13.
Police sources told The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv that there was “no need to rush and make statements... This is not a dramatic development, but rather the completion of an investigation.”