Court confirms: Police probing Bishara

Balad fumes as gag order maintained on details of Arab-Israeli MK's case.

azmi bishara (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
azmi bishara
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Balad MK Azmi Bishara in being investigated by the police's Serious and International Crimes Unit, the Petah Tivka Magistrate's Court released for publication on Sunday afternoon. Nevertheless, the court maintained the gag order on the details of the probe.
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  • Bishara says Israel can't handle him "Bishara is indeed being investigated on a number of suspicions of which he is aware, but the investigation of the case material has not yet been completed," the court ruled. The Arab-Israeli MK grabbed headlines two weeks ago when he left Israel before announcing his plans to resign from the Knesset. On Friday he told Nazareth's A-Shams Radio that Israel was unable to rise to the challenge he posed to its Jewish nature and to Zionism." After the court ruling, Balad MK Jamal Zahalka said that not canceling the gag order was a severe blow to Balad. "We want the whole case to be exposed and the gag order to be completely cancelled," said Zahalka, adding that the party was unable to respond to all the lies it was being faced with. "There are officials who are seeking to plant false reports in the media," said the Balad MK. "We have nothing to hide - the police has become political and is conducting a witch hunt against MK Bishara," he continued, adding that Bishara was in constant contact with him. In her verdict, Judge Leah Lev-On wrote: "We are at the stage of the investigation which does not allow for publication, especially because the suspect has not approached me to request anything." "Neither the rumor mill nor publications in the foreign media and media sources comprehensible to only a portion of the public, can be used as justification for the immeasurable damage to the investigation and to the rights of the suspects, all the more so in a case of such heightened sensitivity." The judge added that from the case material it emerged that the probe had begun last month and was being carefully dealt with by senior investigators under the supervision of the attorney general. Lev-On went on to say that the extensive gag order had become, to a certain degree, "ineffective" since it was violated by Bishara. She said that the publication of specific details at this stage was doing "concrete damage" to the progress of the investigation. "Any untimely exposure is bound to cause seriously harm the progress of the probe and the rights of the suspects," wrote Lev-On.