Oleh arrested for importing hunting rifle faces harsh appeal process

At Tuesday July 18's hearing in Jerusalem's Supreme Court, Jeff's lawyer Naftali Werzberger was the first to speak, citing the fact that there is no proof to the allegation that Jeff packed a hunting rifle in his lift with theintention of carrying out attacks against Arabs.

Werzberger made adistinction between illegal possession of a weapon (which is an offense) and the intent of such possession, which in Jeff's case was never proven. It was pointed out that Jeff had bought the rifle inthe U.S. for the express purpose of hunting, not as a weapon.

Werzberger also pointed out that the whole question of whether Jeffconstitutes a "risk" (if he's released on bail/on house arrest) was never solved. (Later we found out that Jeff passed a lie-detector test, but the results were inadmissible in court.)

In addition, Jeff has no criminal record from the States. After pointing out that Jeffis involved in a conversion program at Machon Meir Yeshiva,Werzberger petitioned the court for an alternative to imprisonment, specifically house arrest under the supervision of a veteran immigrant from the U.S. also studying at Machon Meir, who attended the appeal today, but for reasons unknown was not called to testify.

The prosecution pointed out that "Kahane" material was found on Jeff's computer during the investigation, which in their view makes him dangerous!

Judge Cheshin pointed out that every country has its own rules about bringing in weapons, and in essence, anyone bringing them in could be considered "suspect".

At the conclusion of the proceedings, the Judge said he would mail the lawyers his decision within a few weeks.

Jeff, for his part, looks healthy, but of course, confused.

I managedto tell him (in a loud whisper from where I was sitting) that we're all praying for him and support him. He looked touched and gratefully thanked me. At the end, as he was being led out, he looked even more confused, not understanding a word of the proceedings or the outcomeof the hearing, all of which were of course conducted in Hebrew.

For me personally, it was heartbreaking to see the expression on his face as he was being led out.

I have to also point out that it was also more than a little disappointing to see so few people show up for Jeff during the hearing, especially since Jeff has no family in Israel and could have benefitted from seeing lots of friendly and sympathetic faces in thecourtroom. Of course, a couple of people showed up outside the courtroom after it was all over, and one person was on the way but just didn't make it on time.

So as of this writing, then, Jeff is waiting for the Judge's decision, languishing in solitary confinement in Haifa's Kishon Jail.

I will be trying to verify visiting days and hours at the jail incoming days, and especially what Jeff needs. I'll post again to this group when I have more information.

Kol Tuv,Dina

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