RAMALLAH, August 3 (JMCC) - Israeli officials are seeking an additional hearing after Israel's high court ruled that former Amal leader, Lebanese Mustafa Dirani, may continue in his efforts to sue the state for torture during his years in detention, reports the Jerusalem Post
In 1994, then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin ordered Israeli commandos to raid Dirani’s house. The terrorist leader was brought to Israel and held in administrative detention.
In 2000, Dirani filed a NIS 6 million suit in the Tel Aviv District Court, charging that interrogators had raped him, sodomized him with a club, kept him naked for weeks and humiliated him in an effort to extract information about Arad’s whereabouts.
Dirani was released in 2004 as part of a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, despite a lawsuit by Arad’s family to try to prevent his release. In return, Hezbollah returned the bodies of three IDF soldiers killed by Hezbollah in October 2000 and kidnapped Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum.
Dirani had announced his intention to continue to work for Hezbollah on his return to Lebanon, and the state appealed to the Tel Aviv District Court, asking for Dirani’s lawsuit to be canceled.
However, in 2005 the Tel Aviv District Court rejected the state’s request to cancel the lawsuit, and the state appealed to the Supreme Court.
The state had argued that Israel should act in accordance with Anglo-American law, which prohibits an enemy of the state residing in a hostile country from suing the state.
However, in a hearing last month, Supreme Court judges Ayala Procaccia, Salim Jubran and Hanan Meltser ruled to uphold the lower court’s decision to allow Dirani to continue with his lawsuit.
In their judgement, the justices wrote that in cases of alleged human rights violations by the state, it is “justified that the issue will be clarified before the state’s law courts.” The judges went on to write that: “This statement is right also in regard to opening the courts’ doors to hostile parties in order to hear their claims regarding damages caused to their rights by state authorities.
This is not a danger to the state’s power, but is actually a guarantee of its moral and ethical strength.”
According to reports, Dirani’s lawyer, Zvi Rish, said the Supreme Court’s ruling was “in line with Israel’s values.”