Ettinger in court
Ettinger in court Photo: Elishav Har Shalom

The State Attorney's Office is preventing activist Meir Ettinger, who is expelled from Jerusalem by administrative order, from reaching the city for a meeting with the probation service ordered by the court.

A few years ago Ettinger was sentenced to public service hours for violating house arrest. However, when he began to serve the imposed hours, he was put in administrative detention, which prevented him from completing the hours of public service.

After being released from administrative detention, the State Prosecutor's Office asked the court to overturn the public service order and to sentence him to several months' imprisonment instead of 80 hours community service. The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court rejected the prosecution's request, but sentenced Ettinger to a fine of NIS 2,400 instead of community service.

Ettinger appealed the decision through his attorney Yitzhak Bam, by way of the Public Defender's Office.In the appeal to the District Court, Bam argued that it was unjust to impose a fine upon Ettinger when the state, by placing him in administrative detention, prevented him from completing the hours of public service.

District Court Vice President Yoram Noam and judges Rivka Friedman-Feldman and Moshe Bar-Am ruled that Ettinger could complete the public service in the city of Beit Shemesh, which is close to his place of residence.

However, Ettinger is now banished from Jerusalem by administrative order, while the probation service is in Jerusalem and can not prepare the working plan ordered by the court without meeting with the defendant.Therefore, Attorney Yitzhak Bam asked the court to order the State Prosecutor's Office to allow Ettinger to come to Jerusalem to prepare the plan.

As expected, the prosecution objected.The State Attorney's Office stated that arrival to the probation office is not among the exceptional cases that would justify violating the order to come to Jerusalem.The State Attorney's Office further requested that the probation service transfer preparation of the public service program to another city, noting that a clarification with the probation service revealed their own request to be impossible.

Attorney Bam, representing Ettinger, said in response: "I am not sure if it was written in Sodom or in Chelm.What is clear is that the State Attorney's Office together with the GSS obstructs implementation of court decisions and attempts to use administrative orders to harm legal proceedings."