Prosecution Closes Case Against Suspect in Car-ramming of anti-Netanyahu Protester

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Pini Luzon at the hearing for the extension of his detention, Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, October 2, 2020.
Pini Luzon at the hearing for the extension of his detention, Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, October 2, 2020.Credit: Moti Milrod
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

Prosecutors closed the case on Tuesday of a man who drove his car into a protester at a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in October, citing insufficient evidence. 

The case was closed after police and the prosecutors were unable to determine whether the driver, Pini Luzon, really felt threatened, as he claimed. He is still under investigation for allegedly threatening other demonstrators who had been arrested and were in lockup with him.

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Luzon claimed his car ran into Dorit Zak during a demonstration in Tel Aviv while trying to flee the area after other protesters broke his car window. Security cameras at the scene showed that demonstrators did indeed break his window, but it is impossible to tell whether they did so before or after he began accelerating.

“The case was closed because based on the evidence gathered, it’s impossible to rule out the suspect’s claim that he felt endangered and therefore fled the site,” the prosecution said in a statement.

Police summoned witnesses to give statements a few days after the incident. But those witnesses then found themselves being questioned on suspicion of disturbing the peace.

Zak, who was one of them, said she wasn’t surprised to be informed by police that the case had been closed.

“I had no expectations, but I felt disappointed,” she said. “I wanted the mills of justice to grind differently. In my heart of hearts, I hoped. My faith and hope, that place inside me that expects and wants to believe in a decent place, was hurt.”

Her attorney, Gabi Lasky, intends to appeal the police’s decision to the prosecution.

Zak said she asked to see the security camera footage, but didn’t receive it. “I didn’t want anything out of this story personally, but from a public perspective, I would have wanted a different result,” she added.

“I returned to demonstrate a week later,” she continued. “I shrunk a little and was a little deterred, but very quickly I decided to find the strength to go out, though with more moderation.”

Stav Shomer, one of the protesters arrested that night, said the next day that Luzon “began speaking with a drug dealer who was with him and said, ‘These son-of-a-bitch demonstrators tried to lynch me, so I ran over them. They don’t know who they were dealing with. I’m going to kill them one by one.’”

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