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Lawyers' Strike Keeps Teenage Girl under House Arrest

State Prosecution strike causes major slowdown in providing legal redress for citizens – and at least one teenage girl is stuck under house arrest.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/16/2010, 3:59 PM / Last Update: 12/16/2010, 4:02 PM

Israel news photo

The State Prosecution strike is causing a major slowdown in providing legal redress for citizens – and at least one teenaged girl is stuck under house arrest.

C., a 16-year-old girl living in a Jewish outpost north of Jerusalem for nationalist/ideological reasons, has been under house arrest for about a month. She was originally arrested on suspicion of having thrown rocks at Arab cars near Ramat Migron. Several days later, she was indicted on the charges, and she was released from prison – to full house arrest.

Her lawyers, of the Honenu civil rights organization, filed objections in court regarding  the disproportionate terms of her house arrest, but two or three sessions on the topic were postponed because of the Prosecution strike. The prosecutors are demanding better employment terms, and are working at a fraction of their full capacity.

“The normal procedure is that if the prosecutor doesn’t show up twice in a row, the plaintiff is released,” Shmuel Medad, head of Honenu, told Israel National News. “Yet in this case, the judge refuses to release this 16-year-old girl or withdraw the charges against her, and she has been stuck inside her home 24 hours a day for nearly a month.”

The judge in question is Jerusalem District Court Yoram Noam. He himself said, at the beginning of the case, that he does not believe that there is sufficient evidence to convict the girl.

Judge Noam has taken action in favor of ostensibly worse criminals in light of the strike. He nullified the charges against an Arab terrorist, accused of setting fire to a Jewish-owned apartment in Abu Tor, Jerusalem; uprooting trees there; burning a mezuzah; and throwing rocks on Border Guard policemen who pursued him.

In yet another strike-related decision, Judge Noam ordered the release of two Arab youths from Taibe, one of whom drove the other in a car while under the influence of drugs, ran away from police, hit a police car and injured three policemen. Several other suspects, drug-dealers and the like have also been released in recent days, because of the strike.

C., however, remains under house arrest.

Eliezer Goldberg, a former Supreme Court judge, now heads the Justice Ministry Committee for Complaints Against Judges. His office can be faxed at 02-6595516 or, from abroad, (+972)2-6595516.