Public official speaks about Shin Bet Dawabshe investigation for first time
Israel's Deputy AG acknowledges before a Knesset committee that 'exceptional measures' are being used by the Shin Bet. On Sunday, the Supreme Court Judge shot down Jewish terror suspects' appeal for legal representation due to severity of alleged crime, and chance of interference in investigation.
For the first time on Monday, a government official spoke publicly about the ongoing Shin Bet investigation into the Dawabshe family murders in Duma last summer.
Deputy Attorney General Raz Nazeri, speaking to the Knesset's Law and Justice Committee, acknowledged that AG Yehuda Weinstein had approved "exceptional measures" to be taken by the Shin Bet.
The law enforcement authorities have subsequently come in for judicial criticism.
"There is no investigation under the cover of darkness and we are not hiding anything. Every activity is accompanied by attorneys, some of them with the authority of the AG," Nazeri said.
"We have indeed taken exceptional steps which has brought judicial criticism. We told the Supreme Court yesterday (Sunday) that they (the arrestees) can lay tefilin and light Hanukkah candles. I personally spoke with the manager at the Shin Bet facility they are currently being held in," Nazeri continued.
Nazeri also justified the decision to continue barring the detainees from meeting their lawyers, explaining the various stages and approvals needed in order to extend such a ban. The primary factor, Nazeri explained, is "the fear of harming the investigation when there is a threat to human life."
Israel's Supreme Court on Sunday rejected an appeal by two Jewish minors and one Jewish adult, who have been in Shin Bet custody for two weeks, and have been barred from meeting with lawyers.
The group was arrested within as part of the ongoing investigation into a serious crime – whose details are under still under a gag order.
The detainees' lawyers, Chai Haber and Adi Keidar, emphasized that two of the detainees had no criminal history, and that "preventing meetings between a layer and a suspect was an extreme act which must never be used outside of 'ticking bomb' cases." A representative for the state said that, "Within the circumstances, and specifically due to the severity of the actions allegedly committed by the appellants, there is great importance in continuing the ban on them meeting with lawyers.
The lawyer for one of the three suspects, Itamar Ben Gvir, claimed that continuing the ban on meetings represented a "slippery slope which may lead to an increase in future cases which violate the suspects' right to consultation."
Supreme Court Judge Salim Joubran denied the appellants' request to meet with their lawyers. "There is no question that the balance between the suspect's rights and the public interest to conclude an investigation changes when minors are involved," he clarified in his reasoning for the denial.
"I am convinced that due to the severity of the actions allegedly committed by the appellants, and the fear of interference in the investigation of other suspects involved in the case, the balance has yet to change, and that there is room to extend the meeting ban for the suspects."
Itamar Ben Gvir responded to the rejection, saying, "It seems like the court gives the Shin Bet investigators too much credit, and the problem is that this kind of behavior may cause an innocent man to confess to a crime he did not commit.
"Sadly, some of the judges ignored the words of the former Supreme Court President, who said that in democracies, the state cannot use all measures against suspects, and in our case we are entering the third week without representation," Ben Gvir added.