Court Extends Remand of Three Members of Bakri Family

Uri Ash, Ha'aretz Correspondent
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Uri Ash, Ha'aretz Correspondent

The Acre Magistrates Court extended Friday the remand of three members of the Bakri family, who are suspected of interfering with the police investigation of the suicide bombing at the Meron junction, in which nine people were killed and dozens injured.

The three are Malka Bakri, the mother of Ibrahim Bakri, who is believed to have planned the bombing, as well as two of his uncles - Mahmoud and Marwan. At Friday's court hearing, a police representative claimed that other family members, who have not yet been arrested, continue to disrupt the investigation. More arrests are expected, said police.

According to the police, Ibrahim Makri met with the three detainees hours after the bombing, and agreed to fabricate their versions of events, in order to disrupt the police investigation. Police presented as evidence a diary belonging to Mahmoud Bakri, in which pages from the date of the bombing were missing, raising suspicions that he tore them out to interfere with the investigation.

According to the attorney representing the three, Ibrahim Bakri told his uncles that the suicide bomber may have spent the night in their home, but was not certain that this was the case. Therefore, he claimed, the conversation could not be construed as an attempt to disrupt an ongoing investigation.

Before Friday's hearing, Mahmoud Bakri told reporters that neither he nor his relatives were connected to the bombing.

"It's all a lie. I have not done anything. Our family would never act in this way. We have never dreamed about doing the things we are accused of, and we never will. We only think about real peace between the two peoples." He added, however, that he did not know what his nephew, Ibrahim, had done. "If he has done this, he should accept his punishment. Why is the whole family being blamed?"

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