MK Barakei walked out of police interrogation after being called "darling" by questioner, accusing police of "lacking manners."
By YIGAL GRAYEFF
Arab MK Muhammad Barakei walked out of a police interrogation on Sunday after accusing the police of rudeness, although the two sides dispute what the rudeness was about.
Barakei's spokesman, Barhoum Jaraisey, said the Hadash MK left the police station after being called "motek" - Hebrew for "darling" - and accused the officer of "lacking manners."
Judea and Samaria police spokesman Shlomi Sagi acknowledged that the officer used the term, but it was as a slip of the tongue when asking Barakei to speak more slowly so the investigator could write down what the MK was saying.
The officer immediately apologized and the interrogation continued until the police starting asking "incriminating" questions, at which point Barakei got up and left the station, said Sagi.
"If the officer wasn't polite, he wouldn't have apologized so quickly," he said.
Police were investigating Barakei on suspicion that he attacked members of the Israel Prison Service's (IPS) elite Massada unit during demonstrations against the security fence by the Palestinian village of Bil'in near Nablus in April. The MK is also accused of disturbing the public order and refusing to leave a closed military zone, but has denied the charges, said Jaraisey.
This will be the last time Barakei will attend a police interrogation and if the authorities want to investigate him further it will have to be in court through an indictment, said Jaraisey.
"Barakei is prepared to give up his MK's immunity and he will bring evidence to show that it was he who was attacked," said Jaraisey, adding that Barakei was attacked by a soldier who threw a stun grenade at him and injured his leg. However, he didn't complain to the Police Investigative Department (PID) about the violence because he has no faith in the organization.
"The history of the PID with Arabs is very black," said Jaraisey. "The PID only protects the police and doesn't investigate them."
Barakei also found it "strange" that members of the IPS were policing a demonstration.
"Why did IPS forces need to be there unless they were carrying out exercises in attacking Palestinian prisoners, or the police want to turn the territories into a huge prison camp?" said Jaraisey.
The investigation was initially being carried out at Binyamin police station but was moved to Nazareth after Barakei refused to be questioned there.
"He didn't go to Binyamin because he said it's an occupying police force and didn't want to be investigated by such a force," said Jaraisey.
However, while the investigation has moved location, the investigating officers are still from Binyamin, said Sagi.
During the demonstration at Bil'in, an Associated Press photographer was also lightly wounded when a stun grenade hit his head, while 12 other demonstrators were lightly hurt as well.
Israelis who participated in the demonstration said there were at least 1,000 protesters, although the police and army said the number was closer to 250.
Protesters said that security forces used unnecessary force to disperse them and that they had film footage to prove it. However, the army said demonstrators threw stones and tried to shove soldiers and policemen.
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