הצטרף: 15 אוג' 2007
|פורסם: שישי 05.10.07 7:39 נושא ההודעה: ISRAELI COURT CITES SELECTIVE PROSECUTION IN SEDITION ACQUITTAL
ISRAELI COURT CITES SELECTIVE PROSECUTION IN SEDITION ACQUITTAL
Date added: 10/1/2007
JERUSALEM -- An Israeli court, citing selective prosecution, has acquitted three Jewish activists of sedition and incitement against the government.
Jerusalem Magistrates Court Judge Rachel Shalev-Gertal acquitted the three defendants -- Shai Malka, Ariel Vangrover and Adiel Sharabi -- of
sedition and incitement in connection with their organization of a massive civil disobedience campaign against the government's plan to expel 16,000
Jews from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank in August 2005.
"The selective enforcement [of the law] is strange," Shalev-Gertal said in her decision. "And no satisfactory answer was given as to why the prosecution chose to indict just these three youths."
Shai Malka, Adiel Sharabi and Ariel Vangrover deemed the leaders of the National Home [Bayit Leumi] movement, were charged with sedition in connection with the blocking of Israeli highways on May 16, 2005. The prosecution said the three defendants, arrested on the eve of the protest, had planned to halt traffic.
Prosecutor Dan Bahat said the protest campaign was planned solely by the three defendants -- in contrast to Jewish settlement leaders who sought to avoid unrest. Bahat said the highway shutdown plan, a method often used by Israeli labor unions, marked a revolt against the government.
During the two-and-a-half-year trial, the defense had accused the state of selective prosecution. Members of the state-financed Council of Jewish
Settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza -- most of them with high-level political connections -- organized the largest protests, including an aborted attempt by 40,000 people to enter the Gaza Strip to stop the government expulsion.
Throughout the trial, Shalev-Gertal expressed skepticism over the prosecution claim that the defendants were the sole architects of the campaign against the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. Shalev-Gertal cited the months of anti-government protests attended by hundreds of thousands of
In her decision on Sept. 20, Shalev-Gertal said the state avoided indicting community leaders for organizing protests against the expulsion, including leaders of the Council of Jewish Settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza [Yesha]. Shalev-Gertal said the activities of the Bayit Leumi were not significantly different from those of the Yesha leadership.
"They [defendants] are not recognized as a political body and their influence on the public, even if we give them full credit, is not like that of public figures or leaders like the Council of Jewish Settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, rabbis or parliamentarians," Shalev-Gertal said.
The state has 45 days to appeal the decision.
"I'm very pleased with the decision," defense attorney Ido Stouber said. "Of course, the state will appeal to the district court."