High Court rejects Duma suspect's petition

Lawyer's request to let him see client after legal limits breached, and to stop brutal torture and abuse, thrown out by judges.

Shlomo Pyotrkovsky ,

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir
Flash 90

High Court judges on Monday afternoon decided to reject the petition of attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir on behalf of his client, who is one of the Jews being held on vague suspicions of involvement in the lethal Duma arson.

Ben-Gvir had petitioned against both the way his client is being illegally detained for longer than 20 days without being allowed to see his lawyer, as well as the brutal torture being conducted by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA). On Sunday one of the youths claimed in court that he had attempted suicide due to the incessant torture, with marks on his arms backing up his statement.

The judges, Uzi Fogelman, Manny Mazuz and Daphne Barak-Erez, said they could not find a "rationale" to support the petition, even while saying they do not take lightly the continued prevention of a meeting between the suspect and his lawyer, which as they noted "harms the basic rights of the petitioner to consult with his lawyer."

They added that the court had in the past examined the decisions to prevent the suspect from meeting his lawyer, "and found that they stand within the rule of law," adding that judicial review will continue in the matter.

Earlier on Monday Ben-Gvir condemned the court's delay in making a ruling on his petition.

"It's already over 24 hours that we are waiting for the decision of the High Court to issue a preventative order against the torture and the abuse that my client has been suffering for over 21 days without seeing a lawyer," he said.

"In similar cases, in petitions submitted by Arabs, the Supreme Court decided within just a few hours, and it is slightly odd that currently there is no decision on the issue," added Ben-Gvir.

In his appeal, Ben-Gvir wrote: "this abuse is against the law of Israel and includes physical violence, sleep deprivation, attacking his (the suspect's) sensitive organs, and more. The law in the State of Israel, as well as international law, does not allow such abuse, and certainly not in the current situation. Basic democratic values demand that the Court intervene."

"The Jewish values of justice even demand that the Court intervene in this. The Shin Bet's (ISA) interrogation will not lead to finding the culprits and to exposing the case, but at most to finding scapegoats for acts they did not do in order to prevent further abuse."