Meah Shearim Mother Released To House Arrest


protest7After a three-hour hearing, the Yerushalayim Magistrate’s Court decided this afternoon to release to house arrest the Meah Shearim mother accused of starving her three-year-old child. The court agreed to allow the mother to stay in Meah Shearim at the home of Rav Avraham Froilich.¬† Rav Froilich and Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman – who had told the court that he himself was prepared to take the woman into his home – paid the NIS 400,000 bail.¬†According to the court ruling, the woman will be sent for a psychiatric evaluation on Sunday, and will undergo other medical checks. In addition, her children will be questioned in the coming days as part of the police investigation.

Police had earlier told the court that they also ‘suspected’ that the woman abused her other two children, citing testimonies they had collected. Friends and family say the charges are fabricated.

During the hearing, prosecutors said that they had reached a deal with welfare services according to which the woman would undergo an evaluation by a psychiatrist agreed upon by both sides. They said they had no interest in the alleged abusive mother remaining in custody after an indictment is served, but had asked the court to remand her for five further days, citing their intention to charge her soon.

In an affidavit filed in preparation for the indictment, the prosecutors also said they planned to file a request that after undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, the woman be kept under strict house arrest – away from Yerushalayim, with electronic tags and with a NIS 500,000 bail – until the end of legal proceedings.

They asked for the remand extension in order to prepare that request as well as the indictment.

Many in the frum community are saying that the court;s ruling is excessive and that the actions taken so far are unjustified.

Protests on the streets of Yerushalayim escalated throughout yesterday, culminating in late-night riots in which hundreds clashed with police. Thirty-four people were arrested and 20 were apprehended for questioning. Police claim that 18 policemen were hurt.

The protests continued until 5 a.m.

{Yair Israel/JPost}