Israeli court acquitts settler of belonging to terror cell
The Jerusalem District Court on Sunday acquitted Zuriel Amior, a resident of the West Bank settlement of Adi Ad, of belonging to a Jewish terror cell.
Amior was charged with helping prepare an explosive device used in an attempted attack on an East Jerusalem girls' school two years ago.
The three judges unanimously agreed to acquit Amior as there was "more than a reasonable doubt" that he was not involved in the attack, even though - it should be noted - three of his fingerprints were found on the device.
Three members of what has become known as the "Bat Ayin terror cell" were convicted in September 2003 of attempted murder and were handed sentences ranging from 12 to 15 years behind bars.
The three, all residents of the Bat Ayin settlement, had been convicted of trying to set off a bomb near the girls' school in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur, as well as illegal weapons possession.
On his part, Amior's attorney said after Sunday's ruling that the acquittal was "a harsh blow to the Shin Bet security services."
"By examining the evidence and due to the defense's difficulty in explaining why the suspect's fingerprints were on the device, a suspicion is certainly raised against the suspect, which justified the filing of the indictment. However, even though the state has evidence implicating the suspect, it is not sufficient to rule beyond reasonable doubt that the suspect put together the device," the judges wrote.
Amior exercised his right to silence during part of the police probe and in court pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Another alleged member of the group was also acquitted. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)