Mazuz warns Barakei he may be charged with assault
In past years, Hadash chair allegedly attacked and insulted police, passer-by in 3 separate instances.
By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz told MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) on Thursday that he is facing indictment for offenses allegedly committed while he participated in demonstrations in recent years.
The indictment would cover three separate incidents, the attorney-general said.
Mazuz's office said the decision to inform Barakei that he might be charged was made only after he consulted with State Prosecutor Moshe Lador as well as police and prosecutors who were involved in the investigation.
Sources in the Justice Department emphasized that Mazuz had warned Barakei as required by law that he was considering indicting him, and informed Barakei that he was entitled to a hearing before Mazuz prior to a final decision on whether to charge him.
The files on Barakei were recently passed to Mazuz for review after a delay for deliberations between Barakei and police regarding the scope of the investigation.
The first set of allegations concerns a 2005 protest in the West Bank town of Bil'in, where protesters against the security barrier frequently clash with police and soldiers.
At that protest, police say, Barakei attacked a member of the Israel Prisons Service's Massada quick response and intervention force while he was taking a detainee toward a police car. In that case, the prosecution is considering charging Barakei with attacking a law-enforcement officer.
The second incident occurred during a protest near the Carmel Market in south Tel Aviv in August 2006. Barakei allegedly yelled threats at a police officer and made obscene gestures, leading prosecutors to consider indicting the MK for offending a public employee.
And in the third case, Barakei allegedly attacked a passerby who insulted far-Left activist Uri Avneri while Barakei and Avneri were participating in a demonstration at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square in July 2006. Prosecutors are considering charging him with assault.
Justice Department spokesman Moshe Cohen said that should Barakei request a hearing, the MK would be entitled to review the main points of the investigative material gathered against him by the Tel Aviv District Attorney's Office.
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