This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 9 April, 2020
Advertisement

Dublin rabbi stands bail for Israeli teens in court over khat drug seizure at Dublin Airport

The teens were arrested on 10 September at Terminal 1 and brought to Ballymun Garda station after they were allegedly caught “red-handed”.

File image: The drug khat, which is mostly used in east African and middle eastern countries, comes in leaf form, is chewed and gives users a similar effect as amphetamines
File image: The drug khat, which is mostly used in east African and middle eastern countries, comes in leaf form, is chewed and gives users a similar effect as amphetamines
Image: Shutterstock/Konevi

A DUBLIN RABBI has stood bail for two Israeli teenagers facing serious charges after gardaí seized about €30,000 worth of the herbal amphetamine drug “khat” at Dublin Airport.

The pair, a 17-year-old girl who cannot be named for legal reasons, and adult co-accused Ruth Ben Haim, 18, from Tel Aviv made no application for bail when they first appeared in court last week.

They were arrested on the morning of 10 September at Terminal 1 and brought to Ballymun Garda station after they were allegedly caught “red-handed”.

They charged with unlawful possession of a quantity of khat, and having the drug for the purpose of sale or supply.

The offences are under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The Dublin Children’ Court heard today that 40kgs of the drug, worth about €19,000, were in two suitcases belonging to the 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named because she is a minor.

Garda Tanya Shinkins told Judge John Cheatle the co-accused allegedly had a similar quantity. She also told the court they were caught red-handed.

After a week in custody, they pleaded for bail.

Garda Shinkins objected on the grounds of flight risk and their lack of ties to this jurisdiction.

Khat is legal in plant form in Israel and counsel Alison Fynes said it was used like chewing gum and “grows on the side of the street” there.

The pair listened to the proceeding with the assistance of an interpreter.

The 17-year-old’s mother travelled from Israel to the hearing today after she was contacted by the Israeli embassy.

She told Judge John Cheatle her daughter has never been in trouble with the police before.

‘Upstanding families’

Dublin Rabbi Zalman Lent also came to court to act as an independent surety for both accused in the sum of €1,000 each.

Rabbi Lent said the pair were anxious to be released for the Jewish new year, from Sunday to Tuesday.

He said they came from upstanding families and Haim’s father was the head of a rabbinical institute.

Counsel told the court the teens would abide by conditions set down by the court.

Granting bail, Judge Cheatle said despite the garda’s very valid concerns in relation to the seriousness of the charges, strength of evidence and the obvious flight risk, the rabbi presented as a credible witness.

The 17-year-old smiled during the hearing but was in tears at one point when the judge said he would not allow her return to Israel for a family wedding next month.

She spoke briefly, via a translator, to confirm she would obey the bail terms.

Accommodation in Dublin has been arranged for them.

The pair whose passports have been seized by gardaí were ordered to remain in the State, obey a curfew and not to apply for new travel documents. They have to sign on daily at a garda station except on the days of the Jewish new year holiday.

They have not yet indicated how they will plead.

Tusla – the Child and Family Agency also had a representative at the hearing. Directions from the Director of Public need to be obtained.

The case resumes next week.

The drug khat, which is mostly used in east African and middle eastern countries, comes in leaf form, is chewed and gives users a similar effect as amphetamines.

Comments have been closed for legal reasons. 

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Tom Tuite

Read next:

COMMENTS