The Supreme Court rejected an appeal submitted by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) following a District Court ruling that phone calls between prisoners and their attorneys cannot be limited to 15 minutes.
The court ruled that the change should be made through the legislation of a bill in the Knesset rather than through amendments and clauses. The court's ruling made it clear that it stands in favor of maintaining prisoners' rights.
The appeal was submitted following a District Court ruling after a petition by three prisoners, one of whom is Yaniv (Nivi) Zagori, who is standing trial for the alleged murder of three people, including state witness Tal Korkos and his ex-wife Dvorah. The basis of the appeal was the IPS's decision to limit phone calls between prisoners and their councils to 15 minutes.
The District Court's ruling stated that phone calls constitute a fundamental right to prisoners, inhibiting the limitation. The IPS decided to appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court. The Public Defense and the Israel Bar Association joined the discussion as the Court's fellows.
Both the Bar Association and the Public Defense supported the prisoners' position, saying the right for extended phone call duration should not be limited even if different motives are allegedly in place, so as not to violate other fundamental rights such as that to a fair trial.
Israel Bar Association head Attorney Avi Himi said, "I praise the Supreme Court for the ruling. The Bar Association will stand strong and fight for fundamental rights everywhere and always."