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Attorney: B'Tselem Plaintiff Faked Photos of Injuries

Attorney says Arab man falsely accused police of violence – using photos taken 2 years before the alleged incident. B'Tselem was involved.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 1/9/2011, 8:14 PM / Last Update: 1/9/2011, 8:21 PM

Flash 90

An Arab man from Jerusalem is accused of using photos from 2006 to falsely accuse three police officers of having beaten him in 2008. Two organizations on the far left of the political spectrum, B'Tselem and Hamoked (the Center for the Defense of the Individual), are involved in the case.

Attorney Vered Cohen, who represents two of the accused officers, spoke to Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language news service about the case.

From the moment the Arab man filed a complaint, he was assisted by B'Tselem and Hamoked, said Cohen. The two groups provided him with legal aid, made sure his complaint received media coverage, and pressured the relevant officials to move the case forward.

The groups even got Members of Knesset involved, sending eight letters to various MKs in an attempt to get more backing for the complaint, she said.

The plaintiff is also a member of Hamoked, and admitted in court that both Hamoked and B'Tselem had given him significant help and advice during the trial.

During one hearing, the prosecution presented a disk with photos allegedly taken by the victim's friends after he had received medical treatment, said Cohen. “It seemed to be serious evidence against the police, but we fought in court to get the original disk and not to rely on a copy,” she recalled.

“The court did give us the original disk. We examined it in the presence of a representative of the police Internal Investigations unit, and found significant differences between the copy and the original. It turned out that the pictures in questions had been taken before January 2006. That is, the disk showed injuries that were on the plaintiff's body two and a half years earlier,” Cohen explained.

An expert confirmed the finding, she said, and the expert's opinion was submitted to the court, which has yet to respond.

Cohen stressed that she is not accusing B'Tselem of anything. “I don't pretend to know whether B'Tselem knew or didn't know” about the dated disk, she clarified. “I'm not saying that B'Tselem  decided to fabricate a case one day out of the blue... It could be that they just supported a plaintiff they trusted."

“It has a suspicious feel to it, but we're waiting for the court's verdict,” she concluded.