RAMALLAH, May 11 (JMCC) - The Jerusalem magistrate court has acquitted the head of the Islamic Movement’s northern division, Sheikh Raed Salah, in a 2007 eastern Jerusalem case, reports Ynet.
Salah, a prominent leader of Israel’s Arab minority, was arrested after participating in a Wadi Joz protest. The clash was one of many protesting against engineering works near the Muslim holy site, the Al-Aqsa mosque. In the scuffle with police, Israeli authorities accused Salah of disorderly conduct and spitting on a police officer.
Salah consistently claimed innocence against the charges. However, on January 13, he was sentenced to nine months in prison, a six-month suspended sentence and a fine of 7,500 NIS.
The reversal of this decision comes after an appeal was filed by Salah”s legal representatives. Ynet reports that the lawyers were able to present evidence showing contradictions in the police testimonies. Footage from the protest was also presented which the judges ruled could prove inaccuracies in the indictment.
Relying on Salah’s testimony to the magistrate court, attorney Khalid Zabarqa argued in the appeal that the trial was “political and that Israeli measures in Jerusalem
and at al-Aqsa mosque are the crime”.
Saleh was also detained during a separate protest on the same issue.