Photo: Gil Yohanan
Hadash Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh
Photo: Gil Yohanan
MK Barakeh under investigation for assault
Arab MK shows up at police headquarters for questioning after evading investigators requests for nearly a year. Right-wing activists taunt Barakeh outside station

After being questioned Tuesday afternoon, Hadash Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh accused the police of trying to create "political provocations." Barakeh added that "the police are busier monitoring minds than they are monitoring the streets."


Apparently, not only Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert requests to postpone his investigations. For more than a year, the International Crimes Unit has been requesting to investigate the Hadash MIK on suspicions of assault.


Tuesday afternoon he finally agreed to report to an investigation and this only after Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik intervened.


Barakeh was interrogated at the Russian Compound police station in Jerusalem in relation to the alleged assault of a civilian and a police officer in two different demonstrations against the Second Lebanon War in central Israel in 2006.


However, for more than a year, Barakeh ignored the police's requests. Recently, after head of investigations and intelligence Maj.-Gen. Yochanan Danino turned to several political figures, including Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, did he respond. Barakeh coordinated the meeting with police and on Tuesday reported to the investigation.


Ten far-right activists, including Itamar Ben-Gvir, were waiting for Barakeh outside the police station. As he arrived they taunted him, calling him "a traitor" and saying "in any other country you would have been hanged."


In 2006, Barakeh was interrogated for suspected assault of a soldier and a police officer in a demonstration against the separation fence in the West Bank village of Bilin.


Following his interrogation, Barakeh told Ynet: "I came out of the probe with the same feeling I went into it – everything is bogus. This is a provocation by police, which wanted to prevent me from turning to the Internal Affairs Unit, because the police were the ones who behaved violently in those demonstrations, which were held with a permit."


Sharon Roffe-Ofir contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 05.20.08, 15:42
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