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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem


"Thanks to a video: A Haredi Citizen was Acquitted of Alleged Assault Charges against Policeman

Yonatan Ben Gigi, a citizen of Jerusalem who was accused by the state prosecutor of assaulting policemen, can smile this morning because the courthouse acquitted him from this charge. The charges against him described how four months ago, Ben Gigi rioted during one of the regular 'Ha'eda HaHaredit' [1] demonstrations, across from the enlistment office in Jerusalem, and threw rocks at policemen. Ben Gigi's attorney Nadav Gedaliahu claimed that his client was just a passer-by, that he was not actively involved in the demonstration and that he did not throw any rocks.
The judge acquitted Ben Gigi from the charges of 'assaulting a public clerk' and 'deliberate damaging of property' after partly receiving the defense's claims; however, he also convicted him for wildly resisting his arrest, which was done violently as seen in the video.

This documentation proved, among other things, that Ben Gigi's plea was right. The video also led to his being acquitted from the main accusation, showing that he did not initiate any assault against the policemen. 'I watched the video over and over again, and it can be seen that the stone was thrown from the same direction where the defendant stood. However, the video shows clearly that the cops were not facing the direction from which the stone was thrown,' the judge declared upon justifying his decision. The convicted, who became Haredi at the age of 13, stated in court that even though he personally did not serve in the army, members of his family do serve and he is not against military service.

Attorney Nadav Gedaliahu, Ben Gigi's lawyer, told Kikar HaShabat: 'This is a very important achievement. It was the video brought by the prosecutors that proved the defendant is innocent. The policemen claimed that he threw the rocks at the police vehicle; they claimed that they made eye contact with the defendant at the moment that he threw the rock and saw the rock hit the vehicle. However, this video proved that they were not even looking at the defendant when the rock was thrown, and that is how his innocence was determined. It is a shame that we are again witnessing false testimonies given by clerks of the law. It is good that we stand on guard, protecting the defendant's rights and proving him innocent.'"

– Kikar HaShabbat