Prisons Service mixup sends terrorist to wrong courthouse

Terrorist brought to Be'er Sheva District Court instead of Jerusalem Court; as a result it was decided to cancel hearing at appeals stage.

Ido Ben Porat,

Attack scene
Attack scene
Hillel Meir/TPS

In the Jerusalem District Court the sentencing stage for a terrorist who carried out a stabbing attack at the Jerusalem Central Bus Station was due to open today, but the Nahshon unit of the Israel Prison Service brought him to the Be'er Sheva District Court instead.

Following the error it was decided to cancel the hearing and hold it at a later date. The Prison Service is investigating what happened and promises to learn lessons to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

Central bus station security guard Asher Elmaliach was seriously wounded in the attack. Elmaliach's alertness prevented a much more serious attack, but he was seriously injured and only after a month of hospitalization did he return home.

In the course of the hearing, Elmaliach himself is expected to appear before the court and speak about the attack, the difficult period since the attack, and his demand for maximum punishment for the terrorist.

Yesterday Elmaliach arrived to visit the central bus station and before the court hearing told Yediot Ahronot the main points he intended to say in the hearing, in front of the terrorist.

"I'm happy about this meeting," says Elmaliach. "I'll look him in the eyes and tell him - no knives, no guns, no buses that explode, no hell in the world will subdue me.

"In order not to surrender to terror, there must be justice, and the only justice that will be done is if this son of injustice will rot the rest of his life in prison," he added. "People like Yassin Abu al-Qar'a, who come to take a life, have no right to life, have no right to see daylight. Thank G-d I survived the attack.

"I personally had a miracle, but throughout the history of the State we've seen the heavy price that terror exacted from us, and the power of the court to determine that the murderer and other terrorists will be sentenced to prison for the rest of their lives."

The night before the attack, Abu-Alqara hinted at his intentions in a Facebook post, where he wrote: "Our blood is cheap on the way to you, our Jerusalem, our al-Aqsa."




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