Suspect with lawyer in court
Photo: Ido Erez
Damage to mosque

Police baffled by mosque arson case

Court extends remand of 18-year-old suspect of price tag act in Tuba Zangaria; judge stresses remand will not be extended again unless police present new evidence

The Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court remanded the 18-year-old settler from Samaria suspected of torching the mosque in Tuba Zangaria for an additional five days on Tuesday.


The judge presiding over the hearing ruled that unless the police present new evidence in the case, or some other new development takes place in the investigation, the court will not allow for additional remands.


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The suspect's attorney reiterated that his client was denying the allegations against him and was exercising his right to remain silent.


"I believe that there is a grain of truth behind the defense's claim that there has been no real development in the investigation since the first arraignment," Judge Nitza Maimon said. "The previous suspicions and existing evidence stand. However, there has been no real change in the fabric of evidence and the case is still not ready for an indictment."


Judge Maimon noted that "the investigation is complex and there are deliberate attempts to obstruct it. Releasing the suspect at this time could contribute to that. I believe that should there be no significant development in the investigation, the suspect should be released while the investigation continues."


Tuba Zangaria mosque torched (Video: Ido Becker)


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The case is still under a gag order, but according to the available details, the youth was arrested several hours after allegedly committing the crime. He was taken into custody by a routine police patrol that spotted his vehicle and suspected that he was using it illegally.


Two other individuals who were in the car at the time were arrested as well, but were released shortly thereafter.


Meanwhile, police Commissioner Yohanan Danino visited the Galilee town where the mosque was set aflame and called the recent "price tag" acts in the town "just a cover up for harsh and offensive crimes that are contemptible."


"Even if they believe it's a practical joke, the case is serious and the consequences are more far reaching than the act itself," he added. The police chief made it clear that he had directed his forces to do everything possible to put a stop to the phenomenon.


Maor Buchnik contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 10.11.11, 13:48
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