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Mk Ghattas
Photo: Yair Sagi
Ghattas given 10 day's house arrest
Police decide against requesting further arrest extension over allegations of phone-smuggling to imprisoned terrorists; judge orders that suspect remain under house arrest for ten days, failing to meet police demand of 45 days; 'I don't regret what I did for security prisoners. I tried to help them without breaking the law.'
The court decided to place MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List) under house arrest for ten days on Tuesday afternoon, shortly before he was set to be released after six days in police custody.

 

 

Ghattas, who is currently under investigation on suspicion of smuggling cellphones to terrorists in Israeli prisons, had his arrest extended by 24 hours on Monday by the Rishon LeZion Magistrate’s Court. By Tuesday, the police decided against asking that the court extend his arrest once again, instead requesting that he be placed under house arrest for 45 days.

 

MKs Jamal Zahalka (L) and Hanin Zoabi (R) with MK Basel Ghattas
MKs Jamal Zahalka (L) and Hanin Zoabi (R) with MK Basel Ghattas

 

Nevertheless, Judge Menachem Mizrachi chose not to comply with the demands, bringing the court proceedings to a temporary closure.

 

Outside the court, Ghattas said: “I don’t regret what I gave to security prisoners. I met with them for many years and am trying to help them without breaking the law. It is my duty to help my people."

 

With Ghattas confined to his home, his lawyers asked that their client be permitted to participate in Knesset votes. A police official responded to the request in the affirmative, adding only that he would be required to be accompanied by police escorts. 

 

Ghattas will also be required to personally pay NIS 50,000 shekels as a guarantee that he will not violate the terms of his release. Furthermore, he will have to be escorted by four policemen both at home and when turning up for Knesset votes.

 

In addition, he is forbidden from exiting the country for the next six months.

 

Ghattas after being released from arrest
Ghattas after being released from arrest
 

 

Ghattas was arrested on Thursday evening after police twice summoned him for questioning under caution the same day and after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein removed the Arab MK's parliamentary immunity.

 

Earlier on Tuesday, Ynet learned that police arrested the brother of one of the imprisoned terrorist who is alleged to have received cellphones from.

 

MK Ghattas (Photo: Yair Sagi)
MK Ghattas (Photo: Yair Sagi)

 

Rishon LeZion Magistrate's Court extended on Tuesday afternoon the arrest of Assad Daka by three days on suspicion of providing cell phones to MK Ghattas.

 

Assad is the brother of one of the inmates, Walid Daka—one of the terrorists responsible for the kidnapping and murder of IDF soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984 

 

 

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