Court Quashes Assault Case After Police Lose Evidence

A Beit Shemesh court last week quashed charges against a father and daughter for assaulting a gas station worker four years ago, after the police admitted they had lost the evidence against them.

The defendants, Yosef Elkayam, 73, and his daughter Efrat, 22, of Betar Illit, were charged with assaulting the gas station attendant at the settlement Mevo Betar and threatening to kill him.

The two denied the charges, claiming the attendant and another worker had attacked them when they asked for their money back, after they couldn't operate the self-service gas pump.

The defendants, who were indicted some two years ago, were summoned to court several times but the police prosecutors repeatedly asked for a delay "to complete the investigation." Finally they admitted they had lost the camera footage of the incident.

Magistrate Yaron Mientkavich quashed the indictment, citing police negligence as the cause for the red tape. "We commend the court for ending the prosecution's red tape and the unbearable lightness of serving hasty indictments," said public defender Erez Bar-Zvi, who represented Elkayam.