A complaint has been filed against the officers and detectives involved in a much-criticized sting operation in which a police officer disguised as an Arab brought a group of local Arabs close to Binyamin town Kokhav Hashahar in hopes the residents would assault and expel the Arabs.
Three residents were indeed arrested in an alleged assault, and their attorney David Halevi of the Honenu organization, argues police misconduct is the sole reason indictments were filed against his clients.
Specifically, Halevi's complaint accuses security forces of threatening the defendants, providing false testimony, and obstruction of justice.
In one piece of evidence, a video filmed by police, a detective named Ofer Revivo is seen threatening one of the detainees sitting handcuffed in the police car. When his subordinate realized the detective was engaging in police misconduct, he shut off the camera, contrary to police procedure.
Additionally, another detainee complained that a number of detectives beat him before putting him inside a police car. Several residents of Ma'ale Shlomo back up this statement, saying detectives also pushed two of the detainee's children.
Halevi has also accused police of tampering with evidence. During an evidentiary hearing, the prosecution said that Detective Ofir Oshani, the policeman disguised as an Arab, on whose testimony the entire case is based, had destroyed a note describing the events of the incident in Kokhav Hashahar.
According to Halevi, Oshani disposed of a note describing the event in real time, immediately after the incident, and then later wrote a different report, tying additional detainees to the assault that took place.
If you "watch the video which documents the event, it indicates that Detective Oshani's testimony is both false and inconsistent," Halevi asserted, referring specifically to the detective's claims that a suspect was carrying a stick, which the clip disproves.
"This inappropriate conduct by police requires a thorough examination – the sooner the better," Halevi said. "Reviewing the evidence, in particular the fact that the key witness destroyed evidence, raises serious concerns."
He added that "unnecessary violence" during the arrests of his clients, as well as "ugly threats" also contributed to obstructing the already tainted investigation.
"We expect there to be a thorough exploration of police conduct and the policemen involved in the incident will be brought to justice."