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A military judge reprimanded the police on Sunday for habitually extending Palestinian suspects' remands and said such unnecessary remands border, on the face of it, on illegal acts.

The military prosecution asked Judge Major Menachem Lieberman at the Ofer military court to extend the remand of Naji Arar of Bnei Zid village, for the purpose of preparing an indictment.

Arar had been arrested on April 3 at a roadblock at the entrance to the village of Nabi Salah. His attorney, Neri Ramati of the Gaby Lasky law firm, asked to shorten the remand.

Lieberman ruled that "this is one of many cases in which a person has been arrested, interrogated and then held in custody for several days without any investigation carried out in his case."

The judge said the incriminating evidence had been obtained before the arrest and on April 5, at 10 A.M. the suspect denied all the accusations. As no further action was taken in the case since then, it is not clear why the prosecution wants to extend the suspect's remand "for investigation," the judge wrote.

Lieberman wrote: "This appears to be a false document on the [police's] part...Regrettably, as I noted above, this police practice frequently recurs, and I have already warned that this remand borders on the face of it on illegal detention."

According to the law, a Palestinian may be detained for up to eight days before being brought before a judge. But attorneys Lasky and Ramati have complained repeatedly to the military court that the police and military prosecution keep detainees in custody for an automatic minimum of eight days.

After scolding the police, the judge extended Arar's remand by three days for the purpose of preparing an indictment. He wrote in his ruling, however, that the indictment should have been filed before the suspect was brought to court on Sunday.