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Daphni Leef Photo: Motti Kimchi
Daphni Leef Photo: Motti Kimchi
 
 

Charges dropped against Daphni Leef, 9 other social activists

AG decides not to pursue conviction of social protest movement leader Leef. 'I hope the police feel embarrassed about their conduct,' she says.

Naama Cohen-Friedman
Published: 04.01.14, 19:27 / Israel News

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Tuesday dropped charges against social activist Daphni Leef on and nine others who took part in the social protests of summer 2012.

 

 

Leef, who was one of the leaders of the 2011 social protest movement that swept Israel, had been accused of resisting arrest in a June 2012 protest. Weinstein further said he is leaning toward issuing a stay of proceedings in charges against four other defendants.

 

Responding to the decision, Leef told Ynet she was in good sprits: "This is a happy moment. I'm glad I didn't give in the pressure over the last year and three months, and I have no doubt that this decision wouldn't have come about without the public pressure.

 

Leef drew a connection between the decision to drop the charges against her and Tuesday's conviction of former prime minister Ehud Olmert on graft charges.

 

"I find it symbolic that this occurred a day after the Holyland ruling, as these are two opposite stories that deal with integrity."

 

She further slammed the police in regards to the incident: "I hope that the police feel greatly embarrassed about their conduct and their lack of ability to get off their high horse without outside help. It's important for me to tell the young people of the country to not be afraid to stand up for themselves."

 

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Explaining the decision to drop the charges against the ten activists, including Leef, the attorney general claimed that the acts attributed to the suspects were of a relatively minor severity.

 

He further explained that the accused did not have previous convictions and no other relevant indictments had ever been made against them.

 

In addition, there were evidential difficulties surrounding some of the cases, which bode in favor of the move.

 

Regarding four other cases, in which the acts attributed to the defendants were of moderate severity, and the defendants also did not have previous convictions, the attorney general said that the prosecution was willing to positively consider granting the defendants' request for a stay of proceedings.

 

A Justice Department statement said proceedings are still pending against some 20 additional defendants who are either charged with offenses of grave severity, or face other charges.

 

Attorney Gaby Lasky, who represents Leef, said: "The attorney general did the right thing in dropping the lawsuit, but it’s a shame that he backed up the decision to file the indictment in the first place.

 

"In practice, filing indictments against Daphni and her friends constitutes a violation of the principles of democracy."

 

Aviel Magnezi and Gilad Morag contributed to this report.

 

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