The Haifa District Court rejected an appeal on Wednesday by an IDF soldier to be freed from Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) interrogation for allegedly beating an Israeli-Arab minor in Hadera in April.
Despite that legal defeat, the IDF soldier did finally get to meet with his lawyer on Wednesday, after he had been prevented from doing so for 72 hours.
Prior to losing that appeal, a lower court had also endorsed the Shin Bet’s keeping the IDF soldier in interrogation, and without seeing a lawyer.
It is highly unusual for the Shin Bet to question an IDF soldier, and even more unusual for such a soldier to be denied legal counsel.
Denying legal aid is illegal
Even among the civilian population, temporarily denying legal representation is only allowed in the most serious terrorism national security cases.
The IDF did respond that the crimes alleged against the soldier occurred when he was off duty, which makes the issue a Shin Bet-police one, and not something that they could intervene in.
The Jerusalem Post understands that the Shin Bet was brought into the picture because the alleged attack on the Israeli-Arab was not merely a “standard” attack, but an extended chase and pursuit by the soldier and others after two Israeli-Arabs, which led to both being hospitalized.
Video footage has emerged of three unidentified persons beating presumably one of the said Israeli-Arabs near a building in Hadera.
The legal aid group Honenu has slammed the Shin Bet and the legal establishment for its unusual and extreme treatment of the soldier. They said that they are confident that the soldier will either be acquitted entirely or that at least he has been treated too severely for a minor scuffle.
Another court hearing to seek his release is set for Sunday.