High Court Justice Expresses Political Opinion

Supreme Court Judge Mishael Heshin told petitioners against the scheduled release of Arab terrorist prisoners that he thinks Prime Minister Sharon's polices will advance peace.

, | updated: 5:04 PM

Heshin's remarks were unprecedented for a judge, who generally make sure not to express personal political opinions when discussing legal cases. Heshin was responding to the appeal by the Legal Institute For Investigating Terror and 21 people who have lost close relatives to Palestinian terrorism. The appeal is designed to prevent the government's release of 500 prisoners - and Judge Heshin criticized the suit.

"This is a political matter," Cheshen told the petitioners. "You are appealing a government policy decision. The prime minister thinks this step will advance peace and that he believes the Arab promises, and perhaps it could be said he hopes so. I also think there are positives signs in this. The elected government thinks the [prisoner] release will prevent terrorist attacks."

Ze'ev Dasberg, one of the lawyers who brought the appeal and whose sister was killed by Arab terrorists eight years ago, commented, "Every time there is a policy move [like this], there is euphoria and talk of a new era. Every one who stands here today is in danger. Freeing terrorists endangers citizens."

A spokesman for the Almagor terror victim organization said the group was "shocked by the expressions of Justice Heshin."

A panel of three justices is expected to decide on the appeal in the coming days.