Sultani. Will he be released?
Photo: Ofer Amram

Man accused of spying on IDF chief to be released?

Defendant's attorneys claim client's rights as detainee violated since prosecution failed to file non-disclosure order regarding evidence within 100 days since indictment. Prosecution claims order awaits defense minister's signature

The attorneys representing the man accused of spying on the IDF chief of staff claimed Wednesday that although almost 100 days have passed since an indictment against him was filed, the prosecution has yet to file a non-disclosure order signed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.


An indictment against Rawi Sultani, 23, was filed last August with the Petah Tikva District Court. He was charged with handing information to the enemy, contacting a foreign agent and conspiring to commit a crime.


According to the indictment, Sultani met with a Hezbollah militant overseas who recruited him with the purpose of obtaining information about IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, as they both attended the same gym in Kfar Saba.


A non-disclosure order is issued when the prosecution holds evidence which it cannot reveal, usually to avoid exposing sources and in order not to compromise state security.


Along with the indictment, a motion to arrest Sultani until proceedings were over was also filed.


During a court hearing the defendant's attorneys claimed that the non-disclosure order was meant to be filed together with the indictment. They further asserted that the court had granted the prosecution three extensions, the last of which is valid until December 14.


Sultani's attorneys also claimed that the failure to file the order severely violated the defendant's constitutional right. "Whenever there's a violation of a detainee's basic rights he should be released. A hearing on the detainee's motion for release should be held," their motion stated.


The prosecution claimed that it had been granted an extension from the court until the following week to file the non-disclosure order, which has been waiting for the defense minister's signature since the beginning of the week.


It was further claimed that the case involves two non-disclosure orders, one issued by the internal security minister and handed to the defense attorneys, and another requiring the defense minister's signature.


The defense minister's office said in response: "The non-disclosure order in question has not received the defense minister's office to this day. It is scheduled to arrive tomorrow (Thursday). In any even, a non-disclosure order is never delayed on the defense minister's desk."


פרסום ראשון: 12.09.09, 23:24
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