Court Knocks Cops for Unfounded Arrest in Alleged Assault

The Nazareth Magistrate's Court accused police yesterday of the unfounded arrest of two brothers, reoutedly the heads of a crime family, suspected of assault, and ordered their release on bail.

Magistrate's Court Judge George Azoulay said police did not have "the slightest evidence or reasonable suspicion," and rejected the police request to extend the remand of Roni and Yossi Harari. Their bail was set at NIS 5,000 each.

Police suspect the brothers of assaulting a third man at a Tiberias hotel Friday night, but the alleged victim of a weekend brawl, whom police said was hurt in the scuffle, was not taken to the hospital and resumed his vacation after the fight.

The Hararis, who left the hotel after the brawl, turned themselves in to the Tiberias police early yesterday, after police searched for them at the hotel.

"There was no fight," Roni Harari said yesterday. "The police forcibly tried to get the guy to say there was a fight. It was a drunk who overturned a table and afterward there wasn't anything, they wanted to make up a story."

The Hararis' attorneys explained the bloodstains at the scene by telling the court that Roni Harari's wife cut her foot when she stepped on a piece of glass.

"We left the hotel, we didn't flee," Roni Harari said yesterday. "We took ourselves and went home. If they wanted to arrest us they could have come to our home. It's all on camera - we went home, we didn't run."

"Two weeks before, the police told me they wanted to hurt me," he said. "And that's why when it got dark in the hotel ballroom, I was afraid it was a diversionary tactic and decided to leave and go home. The police wanted to get publicity at my expense. They had nothing on me in the case.