HC grants bail to Israeli criminal Atala in assault case

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Panaji: The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court has granted bail to Israeli national Yaniv Benaim alias Atala in connection with the assault case registered against him.

A single-judge bench of Justice Nutan Sardesai on Thursday granted bail to Atala after asking him to furnish a bond of Rs 50,000 and surety.

The court prohibited him from leaving Goa and the territorial waters of India without prior written permission from the additional sessions judge.

The Goa Police had registered a case against Atala and two other foreign nationals in April 2019 after a 38-year-old Russian national alleged that he was assaulted by them.

The case was registered by Anjuna police.

Police had said that the Russian national had to undergo surgery after the assault on him.

Goa police had filed a charge sheet against Atala before the district and sessions court on August 22, 2019.

In their submission before the high court, the police had said that Atala was involved in several crimes related to NDPS Act, Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and was living in the state without a valid visa.

Police said that Atala was arrested by Uttarakhand police on April 30, 2019 at the India-Nepal border at Banbhasa Champavat in Uttarakhand.

He was arrested for trying to cross the border without valid documents and later handed over to the Goa police.

While granting bail to Atala, the high court said thtt that the complainant in his statement to the police had “clearly stated that the applicant was innocent and had not assaulted him”.

“This position continued despite him being declared hostile and cross-examination at the instance of the prosecution,” the judge observed.

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