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Three of Six Suspects in Khder Murder to Be Freed

Court accepts defense counsel's arguments and orders the suspects freed. Remaining suspects to meet lawyers.
By Ido Ben Porat, Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/9/2014, 7:01 PM

Mohammed Abu-Khder
Mohammed Abu-Khder
Reuters

The Jerusalem District Court has ordered the release of three suspects out of the six who are under arrest with regard to the cruel murder of Palestinian youth Mohammed Abu Khder of Shuafat.

Judge Merav Grinberg ruled that the three, one of whom is a minor, will be released to their homes Thursday, unless a significant development in the case makes her change her mind.

A total of seven suspects have been arrested in the case thus far. One of these was released on Tuesday, just a few hours after he was arrested.

Three others were allowed to meet their lawyers after spending several days in custody without being given access to legal representation. In the meeting, they vigorously denied having had anything to do with the murder.

The lawyers – Adi Kedar and Uri Kenan, who work on behalf of Honenu, an NGO that assists Jews accused of nationalist crimes, and Bentzi Kveler – then filed appeals against the decision to extend the suspects' remand, and the court accepted the appeal, and decided to release them Thursday.

The three remaining suspects in the case are to meet their lawyers for the first time on Wednesday, once the order forbidding them to consult with attorneys expires.

"We are glad that what was claimed regarding the suspects whom we met has been proven to be untrue,” said Kveler. “Three citizens were brutally arrested although they have no connection to the act. Regarding the three additional suspects, we will respond after we have had the chance to meet them.”

Attorney Kedar said that while he is happy that the three are being released, he is “deeply sorry that the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) held the three youths under false arrest in the clear knowledge that they had no connection to the acts attributed to them.”

The father of a minor, who is among three of the arrested suspected of aiding the murder, spoke to Walla! on Monday saying "my son isn't connected to this, I know them all very well and they aren't connected to this."

"Those who are connected are his cousins, the family of my wife," added the man. On Monday, police reported that three out of the six suspects arrested on Sunday confessed to the murder of the Arab teen, and even re-enacted the crime for investigators.  

The father claimed that the main suspect in the murder "has psychological problems. He's a dear person and wouldn't have done something like this. If he did do something like this, it's because of his sickness."

He further noted that one of the minors arrested "takes pills too. He's a child who doesn't go to yeshiva because he has fears. I know each of these children closely. They are good kids who aren't capable of doing bad things. He (the main suspect) is psychologically sick, and he dragged them after him to it. He has an illness, everyone knows."

Reports Monday noted that some of the suspects have been sent for psychiatric observation.