Ofer - Conspiracy to Kill, Fines
Translation: Marganit W.
Once again, plea bargains at the military court. There is no alternative.
Judge: Major Haim Balilti
Prosecutor: Captain Almaz Ayisu
Defense: Atty. Jawad Boulos
Defendant: Najwan Muhammad Ayman Hassan Odeh
In September 2015 members of the charity organization Jimait Qatar Al Hiriya were arrested. They were the Ramallah branch manager, the accountant and Najwan who was in charge of logistics. The Ramallah branch received tens of thousands of dollars from Qatar for its operations. The organization took care of education, industry and charity.
Israel declared it an unlawful association, without apprising the manager, thus enabling it to continue functioning.
The proceedings in the case against Najwan and the others called for evidence and preliminary arguments. But as is almost always the case at Ofer, there came a time for plea bargain. The first offer by the prosecution was that each detainee (there were 6) would pay a fine of 1,2000,000 shekel. They probably saw this as an opportunity to extract money from Qatar.
In the end the following bargain was struck:
18 months of time served from the day of arrest
12 months suspended sentence for 5 years
100,000-shekel fine, or 18 months in prison.
The revised indictment included two clauses: membership and activity in an unlawful organization and holding an office in an unlawful organization.
(I repeat: they were not informed that the organization had been proscribed, and were allowed to continue their operations).
Similar agreements were reached with the other 2 detainees. The manager’s and the accountant’s trials are still pending.
I am happy to report that Najwan was released on Friday 10.2.
Judge: Major Haim Balilti
Defense: Atty. Haled Al-Araj
Defendant: Hifaa Makrum Abd El Karim Abu Sabih
Hifaa, a 37-year old mother of six is headmistress of a private school and active in the community. She is accused of being member of a military unit (a unit that has not obtained any weapons).
Hifaa ran a private school in Hebron, was chairperson of the union of kindergarten and private school teachers in Hebron, member of the board of the Ramallah Center for Democracy and an internationally accredited trainer in human resources development.
There is no plea bargain without admission of guilt, so Hifaa accepted the revised indictment, which includes two clauses: Conspiracy to commit homicide and membership and activity in an unlawful organization.
Sentence: 16 months in prison starting with the day of arrest.
18 months suspended sentence for 5 years.
8000-shekel fine or 8 months in prison.
A few months ago Hifaa described to Atty. Tagrid Jahshan (legal counselor of “Women for Political Women prisoners”) the agonizing transfer from Damon Prison to Ofer Military Court, a journey that took 3 days. I am happy to report that Najwan and Hifaa were brought (more or less) directly from Damon to Ofer and were returned to prison the same night.
Let’s hope this new arrangement continues.