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Four Accused of Ambushing Arab Bus Will Not Be Allowed to See Their Lawyer While in Custody

The Supreme Court today rejected an appeal by four men suspected of ambushing an Arab bus that they be allowed to see their lawyer while in police custody.

The men were remanded Tuesday by a Jerusalem magistrate who denied them the right to confer with counsel at the request of police. Such requests are rare and the presiding judge must be thoroughly satisfied that it is justified before endorsing it.

The suspects are believed to be the masked gunmen who opened fire on a bus carrying Arab day laborers from the West Bank to their jobs in Israel early last Sunday morning. Six of the 18 passengers were wounded, one seriously.

Their lawyer, Meir Schechter, appealed the decision which was ruled on in closed session by a three justice panel headed by Supreme Court President Meir Shamgar. Shechter was engaged to defend the suspects by Rabbi Meir Kahane, head of the militant anti-Arab “Kach” movement.

APPEAL FILED IN ANOTHER CASE

A similar appeal has been filed on behalf of three men remanded in custody yesterday as suspects in an unsuccessful attempt to plant explosives on the Temple Mount, site of two major Islamic shrines in East Jerusalem, last January. They too have been denied access to counsel while their appeal is pending.

Two of the three suspects were identified as members of a messianic Jewish sect living in the abandoned Arab village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. The suspects have been cooperating with police.

A search of Lifta yielded a large weapons cache including 107 hand grenades, 80 loaded magazines for automatic weapons, two mines, eight fuses, six bazooka shells and several dozen kilograms of high explosives, fuses, wires and detonators. All of the material is Israel army issue.

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