Shin Bet Detains Jerusalem Man for Assisting Chaim Pearlman

The Shin Bet arrested David Sitbon, a 28-year-old Jerusalem resident, on suspicion that he supplied alleged Jewish terrorist Chaim Pearlman with a weapon.

The Shin Bet arrested a resident of Jerusalem yesterday on suspicion of supplying alleged Jewish terrorist Chaim Pearlman with a weapon. It is unclear what type of weapon he allegedly provided Pearlman and whether it was used.

David Sitbon

The suspect, David Sitbon, 28, married and a father of two, lives in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood. He is the scion of a well-known Chabad Hassidic family, and makes his living as a salesman in a Mea She'arim shop.

The suspect's brother, Michael Sitbon, said that seven detectives arrived at the shop and took him away. Only some time later did his family learn that he was being held by the Shin Bet security service.

During Sitbon's remand hearing yesterday, the state argued that he had broken into IDF bases and apartments in order to steal weapons.

Sitbon will be held in custody at least until Sunday, and a court order prevented him from meeting with a lawyer for three days.

Sources close to Pearlman said yesterday that "this is yet another attempt by the Shin Bet to fix the investigation and prove to the court that there is progress in the case, ahead of a custody hearing for Pearlman."

Meanwhile, the Shin Bet managed to extend yet again the ban on Pearlman meeting with his lawyer, Adi Keidar. On Thursday a hearing is scheduled on the issue of his remand, at which time it should be possible to learn whether Pearlman has said anything during interrogation. Either way, prohibiting a suspect from meeting with a lawyer cannot exceed 10 days unless approved by the attorney general.

ACRI steps in

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel contacted the attorney general yesterday and requested that Pearlman be allowed to see a lawyer.

"The right of a suspect to meet with a lawyer is a basic constitutional right, one that constitutes a guarantee that the investigation is fair and that the rights of the person in custody are being preserved," said attorney Layla Margalit on behalf of ACRI.

"A prisoner who is questioned for many days without an attorney is liable to be exposed to unacceptable methods of interrogation, and even torture," she added.