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Israel: Pre-Trial Hearings via Audio-Visual Communications

(Oct. 20, 2009) On October 12, 2009, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed a law extending the application of the Criminal Procedure (Enforcement-Arrests) (Visual Hearings) (Temporary Enforcement) Law 5767-2007 for a third year. The temporary law enables the government to conduct a hearing for extension of a pre-indictment arrest by means of audio-visual communication if the following conditions are met:

(1) the detainee is of the age of majority;

(2) the detainee is represented by legal counsel;

(3) the detainee consented to convening the hearing via audio-visual communication; and

(4) the detainee's consent was conveyed after his or her lawyer had explained to him or her the right to be physically present at the arrest extension hearing.

(Criminal Procedure (Enforcement-Arrests) (Visual Hearings) (Temporary Enforcement) (2nd Amendment) Law 5770-2009, the Knesset website, available at; The Criminal Procedure (Enforcement-Arrests) Law 5756-1996, SEFER HAHUKIM, No. 1592, at 338 (5756).)