Court Refuses Motion to Dismiss Indictment against Bereaved Father


On Monday, 5 November 2001, the Magistrate Court of Jerusalem refused Adalah’s request to dismiss the indictment against Mr. Abdel-Menem Abu Saleh, the bereaved father who was charged with assaulting Police Sergeant Guy Raif at a March 2000 session of the Official Commission of Inquiry.


Adalah’s General Director, Hassan Jabareen, Advocate, and attorney Riad Anes argued for dismissal based on the principle of equitable defense. Case law suggests that the court can order the dismissal the indictment when it is demonstrated, at the beginning of the proceedings, that continuing with the case would be contrary to the interests of justice.


Mr. Abu Saleh, whose son Walid Abdul-Menem Abu Saleh was killed during the October 2000 events, admitted attacking witness Guy Raif at a session of the Official Commission of Inquiry. According to evidence presented at the Commission prior to the attack, Sgt. Raif shot at Mr. Abu Saleh’s son with live ammunition. Mr. Abu Saleh stated in his testimony to the police that at the moment he attacked Sgt. Raif, “I saw my son in front of my eyes. I couldn’t control myself and I attacked witness Guy Raif.”


Mr. Jabareen and Mr. Anes claimed that Mr. Abu Saleh acted out of passion and without premeditated intent. They argued that the situation was highly exceptional, in that Mr. Abu Saleh sat at the Commission and listened to witnesses, including a police officer, testify that Sgt. Raif had fired live rounds at his son. Mr. Abu Saleh had not been warned that such testimony would be given.


The attorneys claimed that it was grievously unjust that there had been no investigation into Sgt. Raif’s conduct during the events of October 2000, while the father of the victim was indicted. Therefore, they argued, and in light of exceptional circumstances, it was justified to dismiss the indictment against Mr. Abu Saleh.


The Magistrate Court agreed that the case was exceptional, but found that there was no basis to grant the dismissal, and ruled that the criminal proceedings against Mr. Abu Saleh would continue. The next hearing is set for 14 January 2002.