In a shock move during Sunday's (25 February) proceedings in Haifa into an alleged Syrian-sponsored spy network, the lawyer for the alleged ringleader asked to withdraw from the case.
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Background: In a shock move during Sunday's (25 February) proceedings in Haifa into an alleged Syrian-sponsored spy network, the lawyer for the alleged ringleader asked to withdraw from the case.
Defence Lawyer Ya'Acov Hagler, who's appearing for Haifa Arab bookseller Droud Osman Turki, told the court he was asking for permission to withdraw because of a conflict of conscience.
He said he couldn't agree with his client who wanted to defend himself along a political line.
Before the court were Turki, an Israeli Arab accused of setting up the ring; Ehud Adiv, a 26-year-old former paratrooper from Israel, the main Jewish defendant; Dan Vered, 28, another Jew and a schoolteacher; and three other Israeli Arabs from the Galilee area - Simeon Hadad, 34, a teacher and student; Subhi Naif Na'arani, 28, a television technician, and 23-year-old Anis Arad Karawi, a mechanic.
They're all charged with a variety of security offenses, including participation in the ring which was broken up last December. All except Hadad are accused of going to Syria and meeting intelligence officers there.
When the six were brought into court, heavy security was enforced. They all arrived in handcuffs, but they were out of handcuffs in court.
Altogether, 36 people - including four more Jews - are scheduled to go to trial in batches on charges connected with the ring.