Public defender takes police to task over Amona

A defense counsel went on the offensive earlier this week during the trial of a right-wing activist, charging that the state should have instead filed charges against "criminal policemen" for actions taken during the February evacuation of the Amona outpost. According to the police indictment, the suspect, David Turjeman, threw a stone at a mounted policeman trying to disperse protesters. Turjeman was charged with trying to injure a policeman in aggravated circumstances. His lawyer, Eli Fuchsbrumer of the Public Defender's Office, told Jerusalem Magistrate's Court Judge Alexander Ron that it was the police that should be put in trial rather than the demonstrators. "It is unreasonable that there should be an indictment of this sort under the circumstances, when here we have a petty charge compared with the more serious charges that the state should have filed against criminal policemen at Amona," he said. Fuchsbrumer argued that Turjeman had thrown a rock at the policeman's horse, not the policeman, and that he had done so in self-defense, since the policeman was trying to trample him and other protesters. Fuchsbrumer also demanded that the police hand over all the evidence, including photographs and film footage, which they had gathered during the investigation. According to supporters of the Amona demonstrators, the police submitted selective material to the court. For example, police photographers filmed settlers and their supporters throwing sand and water at policemen climbing the stairs to the roofs of the buildings where they were holding out. But instead of continuing to film what the police did to the demonstrators once they reached the roofs, "their cameras suddenly swung upwards to film the birds and the sky." Ron gave the defense 28 days to submit a formal request for the material and set the next hearing for November 28.