Attorney: Shin Bet crackdown ‘a tragedy for democracy’

The Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court upheld a police request to extend the detention of three Jews arrested last week on Monday, amid a Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency or ISA) crackdown over an as-yet unknown crime. 

Attorney Aharon Roza, representing the suspects, spoke with Arutz Sheva outside the courtroom Monday afternoon, opining that the refusal to allow the suspects to meet with legal counsel is "a tragedy for democracy." 

Roza noted that this was the second hearing on an extension of the arrest, and again the police were asking for a ten day extension.

He emphasized that he has yet to meet with his clients due to an unusual order banning legal consultation, which was extended by another five days. That ban on legal consultation is being petitioned, with a hearing likely to take place later on Monday according to Roza.

"It is forbidden to tell additional details, I also don't know most of the details because they (police) aren't answering nearly any question in hearings on extending the arrest," said the lawyer.

"I again express my protest at how in nearly every investigation that has even a shade of security (interests to it), the equation is to prevent a meeting between the lawyer and his client, and that's a tragedy for democracy, and it doesn't matter who the client is."

Roza explained that the prevention of legal consultation creates a situation in which detainees are held without "basic rights of consultation with a professional, who in this case is a lawyer, and the worst is that the motive won't be checked afterwards by any source, because these are classified documents that remain with those who drew them up and the court."

"Up until now in all the recent cases the court never intervened in the prevention of meeting" with a lawyer, he added, noting the free hand given to the police.

Meanwhile, dozens are protesting outside the proceedings on the suspects' behalf. 

The cause for the crackdown remains unknown, as circumstances of the case remain under gag order. The Shin Bet arrested two more Jews overnight Sunday/Monday, including an IDF soldier

Similarities have been drawn between the case and the ISA investigation over the deadly Duma arson, which Israeli authorities say is the work of an alleged "Jewish terror" network.

During the Duma trials, a number of young Jewish activists were detained for prolonged periods of time and interrogated harshly, but most of those suspects were eventually released after it was revealed they were not connected to any such crimes.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/210687

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