Chaim Pearlman
Chaim Pearlman. Photo by Moti Kimche
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Two suspected Jewish terrorists will be allowed to meet with their lawyers at 11 A.M. today, despite the objections of the Shin Bet security service, Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy ruled yesterday.

Chaim Pearlman, who is suspected of stabbing four Arabs to death in Jerusalem, was arrested last week. David Sitbon, his alleged accomplice, was arrested earlier this week. Neither has yet been allowed to see a lawyer, and on Wednesday they appealed to the Supreme Court.

Wednesday's hearing began with Levy in a rage over the fact that neither Pearlman nor Sitbon had been brought to court. Never before, the justice said, has he asked to see a detainee and not had the detainee brought before him.

The hearing was then postponed until yesterday for unrelated technical reasons - and at that hearing, Levy accepted the prisoners' appeal.

"I have been convinced that preventing a meeting with their lawyers does nothing to serve any appropriate purpose that cannot be achieved after the petitioners are given the opportunity to meet with their attorneys," Levy wrote in his decision.

"This is especially true with regard to Chaim Pearlman, who has been held under arrest since July 13," Levy continued. "His prolonged detention and his isolation from the outside world have reached the point where considerations regarding what is best for the investigation must be rejected."

The ruling was a blow to the Shin Bet, whose moves to bar suspects from meeting with their lawyers are usually upheld by the courts.

By law, no detainee can be barred from seeing a lawyer for more than 10 days without the attorney general's permission, and no detainee whatsoever can be barred from seeing a lawyer for more than 21 days.

Sitbon's attorney, Ariel Atari, told Haaretz he was pleased with the ruling, which "bolsters the constitutional right of every citizen to meet with an attorney. I plan to meet with Sitbon as soon as possible and advise him on how to behave during the remainder of the investigation."

In a separate proceeding yesterday, the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court agreed to extend Pearlman's detention for another week.

The police had requested a 15-day extension, while Pearlman's lawyer had sought his immediate release under restrictive conditions. In the end, the court split the difference and agreed to a seven-day extension of his remand.