Arrested Left-wing Activist Suspected of Contact With Foreign Agent Finally Meets Lawyer

Meeting took place Friday after fears grew over man’s mental and physical state, even though a Jerusalem court allowed for him to be held without seeing a lawyer.

Attorney Lea Semel is surrounded by photographers and cameramen during a case at Lod District Court.
Tomer Appelbaum

The left-wing Israeli activist arrested last week on suspicion of making contact with a foreign agent was finally allowed to see his lawyer on Friday, four days after his arrest.

The meeting occurred despite Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court originally approving a police request that the suspect be banned from meeting his attorney.

Friends of the detained man said that his lawyer, Lea Tsemel, was encouraged by the meeting, which had been allowed due to fears over the man’s mental and physical condition.

Tsemel asked the court to bail her client to house arrest, but the police objected. The court ordered that he be remanded in jail until another hearing on Monday.

Police forces initially arrested the activist last Monday evening. Last Tuesday, the court extended the remand of the suspect – who cannot be named due to a partial gag order – for a week. Haaretz learned that the suspect was questioned concerning additional suspicions, including being an accomplice to manslaughter, conspiracy to commit murder, passing on information to a foreign agent, transporting a person without a legal entry permit into Israel, and use of drugs.

It is still not known which of these charges have been presented to the presiding judge. However, it is known that the charges include the allegation that the suspect contacted a foreign agent.

The judge banned the release of the suspect’s identity and personal details, citing the fear of a potential obstruction of justice.