Israel to indict jailed Palestinian engineer

Last Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 14:01

Jerusalem: A Palestinian engineer who vanished on a Ukrainian train and turned up in an Israeli prison will be indicted next week, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Lawyer Smadar Ben-Natan said Israeli authorities did not tell her what the charges would be.

Her client, Dirar Abu Sisi, is to be brought before an Israeli court later Thursday for an extension of his arrest. Ben-Natan said he would be indicted the day the extension expires.

Details of the mysterious case are hazy because of a near-complete Israeli gag order.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abu Sisi belongs to Hamas, the violently anti-Israel group that rules Gaza. He said Abu Sisi relayed important information but did not elaborate.

Ben-Natan denies Abu Sisi is a Hamas loyalist and his Ukrainian wife alleges Israeli agents kidnapped him to sabotage a key power plant in Gaza where he worked. Fellow engineers and neighbours said he was a Hamas supporter, based on his senior position at the Hamas-controlled power plant.

Abu Sisi, 42, disappeared in the early hours of February 19 after boarding a train in the eastern city of Kharkiv bound for the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which sent a lawyer to visit Abu Sisi in jail, said he was dragged out of his sleeper car, hooded and handcuffed by Israeli agents and forced on a plane bound for Israel.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 14:01

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