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15 Ultra-orthodox Jews Go on Trial

Fifteen ultra-Orthodox Jews went on trial here yesterday for disturbing the peace but only 14 showed up in court after being released on bail last Friday. A warrant was issued for the arrest of the missing man, identified as Yeshayahu Cohen.

All were arrested following riots in the Mea Shearim quarter two weeks ago against archaeological diggings near the Old City wall. Two of the defendants were charged with assaulting a policeman.

Presiding Judge Miriam Maor, who granted bail after Aguda Israel Knesset members intervened, instructed the accused to stay out of Jerusalem except when the court was in session. They were required to sign a pledge not to participate in any demonstrations for the duration of the trial and to surrender their passports and identity papers.

Naor severely reprimanded Aguda MKs Menahem Porush and Shlomo Lorincz who had promised to guarantee the appearance of all the defendants in court if they were released before the Sabbath. When Cohen failed to report to the police as required Saturday night, Porush and Lorincz declined to sign a guarantee for him. The two Orthodox MKs broke their word, Naor said. They had appealed directly to Premier Menachem Begin to gain the release of the religious zealots.

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