Salah acquitted in J'lem rioting case

Islamic leader slams police, wants all charges against him dropped.

raed salah outside court 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi )
raed salah outside court 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi )
Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, was acquitted Tuesday by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court in connection with rioting in Jerusalem's Old City.
Salah said that he believed his acquittal to be the obvious outcome ofhis case. "The trial described the truth. The police should be blamed,and if true justice is sought, all of the four remaining cases against meshould be closed," he said.
Salah was charged of assaulting a policeman during the February 2007 riot. The incident took place near the Dung Gate, when Salah and four other IsraeliArabs were protesting Israeli archaeologicalexcavations that were being conducted next to the Mughrabi Gate.
According to the indictment, Salah waved a Syrian flag, spat in the face of a Border Policeofficer and yelled, "You are racists and murderers! You have norespect!" Salah and his cohorts also allegedly attempted to force their way intothe excavation site.
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Salah'slawyers presented evidence which proved that the police officers'testimonies were contradictory. They submitted footage taken during theprotest, which the judges decided "could prove inaccuracies in theindictment."
The footage depicted the policeman arriving duringSalah's speech, and included witnesses whoapproached the flag wavers and spoke to them.
The men holding the Syrian and PLO flags put them down after the confrontation. The police then asked the PLO flag-holder to hand it over, and a fight ensued.
JudgeShimon Fineberg ruled that the prosecution was unable to prove Salah'sinvolvement in an illegal gathering, and acquitted him of that chargeas well.