MK Jamal Zahalka
Photo: Ronen Boidek
Balad Chairman Azmi Bishara
Photo: AFP

Bishara is under investigation, court reveals

Petah Tikva Magistrates Court says investigation against Balad chairman being carried out, but refuses to lift gag order on its details. 'Police are persecuting Bishara,' says MK Zahalka

The Petah Tikva Magistrates Court on Sunday rejected Balad's petition to lift the gag order on details of the investigation against the party's chairman Azmi Bishara.


However, the court did allow it to be made public that an investigation against the MK was being carried out.


The court decision said that "Bishara is being investigated for various suspicions of which he is aware, however, the examination of data colleted so far has not yet been completed."


In the decision, judge Leah Lev-On wrote: "We are at a point in the investigation that does not allow publication…no rumors or reports in foreign press can justify obstructing the investigation or the rights of those being investigated."


Lev-On further wrote that "any premature exposure could severely hurt the investigation's progress and the rights of those being investigated."


Balad faction Chairman MK Jamal Zahalka said following the verdict, "Not lifting the gag order severely harms Balad. There are bodies that are making sure that false items are being implanted in the media. We have nothing to hide; the police are persecuting MK Bishara."


Zahalka added that although Bishara is abroad and that he is in constant contact with him.


MK Zahalka (center) Photo: Ronen Boidek


Following the verdict, the Balad party issued an official statement on the matter, saying, “The cover-up is an integral part of the calculated persecution campaign Israel and its security branches are conducting against Bishara and Balad.


“Police are preventing Bishara from appealing to the public and exercising his democratic right to respond to the severe political allegations against him,” the party said in a statement.  


Last week, Zahalka said the party would turn to the High Court of Justice if the order was not lifted.


"We find ourselves at a dead end since we cannot talk…We have nothing to hide, on the contrary, we have someone to blame," Zahalka told Ynet on Thursday.


"We will go all the way to the High Court to realize our right to respond to the fabricated accusations against us, and refute the malicious rumors that are being published through the media," added Zahalka.


פרסום ראשון: 04.15.07, 13:40
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