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Family opposes bid to exhume body of Oct. 2000 victim

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  • Joseph M. Hochstein
    Haaretz March 1, 2005 Family opposes bid to exhume body of Oct. 2000 victim By Jack Khoury http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/546181.html Acre Magistrate s
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2005
      Haaretz
      March 1, 2005
      Family opposes bid to exhume body of Oct. 2000 victim
      By Jack Khoury
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/546181.html

      Acre Magistrate's Court Judge Ronit Yitzhaki will rule in 60 days on a
      request to appoint a police investigator to exhume the body of Asil
      Asala, a resident of Arabe in the Galilee who was killed in the October
      2000 riots.

      Representatives of Asala's family and the Justice Ministry's Police
      Investigations Unit will file their responses to the exhumation request
      before the ruling.

      The two parties met yesterday at the court for a hearing on the request,
      which was submitted by the Justice Ministry unit a few months ago in
      connection with the probe into the incidents. Ministry officials told
      the court that because relatively few policemen were operating in the
      area where Asala was killed, the shooter could be identified if remains
      of the bullet that killed him were found.

      The Asala family lawyer, Hassan Jabareen, the director of Adalah - The
      Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said the family was
      adamantly opposed to the state's request to exhume the body for two
      reasons: The exhumation would be too emotionally trying, and the Justice
      Ministry had not submitted any expert opinion regarding the
      effectiveness of the move.

      Asil's father, Hassan, who serves as spokesman for a group of parents
      who lost children in the riots, said that the exhumation and autopsy
      request was another step in the ministry's attempt to evade the facts.

      "The Police Investigations Unit did not present an operations report
      that proves that a serious investigation is indeed underway and that
      exhuming the body is the last stage by means of which the identity of
      the person who shot Asil can be ascertained for sure," the father said.

      "If the Police Investigations Unit has honest intentions of getting to
      the truth, they would have identified the shooters a long time ago, and
      wouldn't have waited more than four years and then claim that
      ascertaining the truth depended solely on exhuming the body of our son,"
      he asserted.

      Asil's mother, Jamila, left the court yesterday in a highly agitated
      state, threatening to commit suicide if her son's body were to be
      exhumed. "They want to murder my son twice," she said.

      The state's representative, attorney Shlomo Lamberger, said the request
      to exhume the body was proof that the Police Investigations Unit had no
      intentions of whitewashing the facts.

      Prior to yesterday's hearing, representatives of the bereaved parents
      and the Hadash and Balad parties demonstrated outside the courtroom,
      criticizing the actions of the Police Investigations Unit.
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