New York (Feb. 8)
Four members of the Jewish Defense League have been arrested since Feb. 1, one of them twice, on charges of harassing a Soviet official in New York, Dov Becker, JDL executive director, reported.
Becker said he himself had been served by the FBI with a subpoena to appear before a federal jury here to answer the same charge. He said his attorney appeared for him and pleaded the Fifth Amendment on his behalf. Becker said he did not appear, adding that he has also been given a subpoena to appear for voiceprints and fingerprints.
The four JDL members are Howard Perel, 19, Rafi Medoff, 22, Shira Goldstein, 17, and Barbara Herzka, 21.
Perel and Medoff were arrested last Thursday near the Soviet Mission in Manhattan. They were accused of harassing a Soviet diplomat and with resisting arrest. Later, Becker said, the two JDL members learned they were also being charged by the FBI with assault.
Becker said the harassment activities had been going on for "some time" in a JDL effort to obtain the freedom of Anatoly Shcharansky, the Soviet Jewish Prisoner of Conscience.
Becker said that on Feb. 1, seven JDL members were arrested by City police around the Soviet Mission. Three of them, including Perel, were charged formally with harassment and released on their own recognizance, Becker said.
The three have been ordered to appear March 3 in City Criminal Court to answer to the harassment and resisting arrest charges.
Perel and Medoff appeared before a Federal Judge last Thursday on the federal harassment charges. They were freed after posting a $25,000 collateral bond for Medoff and a $50,000 collateral bond for Perel, Becker said.
A pre-trial hearing has been set for Feb. 25 before a Federal judge for Perel and Medoff. Until then, they are required to report each Tuesday to a federal pre-trial officer at the Seventh District Federal Court. They also are limited in travel to the metropolitan area and Westchester, Becker said.
Becker said he had heard from a BBC broadcast that the Soviets had made a formal protest to the United States last October over the JDL harassment tactics.