Ofer - Knives, Plea Bargain
Translation: Marganit W.
The lawyers’ strike is a real nuisance to the Military “Legal System”
The Palestinians report to court as usual - some are even able to see their detained relatives briefly.
Yet there were very few hearings today. We were even told that some prosecution stuff went on a trip. Some judges asked the detainees if they wanted to carry on even without their lawyers. The judge’s resentment at the attorneys’ absence was palpable. Some judges remarked that if the next hearing is missed, it might have to be postponed to a very remote date.
We observed the hearing of Hanadi Rashed before Justice Lieut. Col. Menahem Lieberman.
We reported on Hanadi’s case previously. She is a 22-year old resident of Yatta, mother of two (2 and 4 years old). She is married to a cousin who is abusive. Because they are related, the family objects to a divorce. This changed after 10.7.16, when she showed up at the Cave of the Patriarchs with a knife, because she wanted to put an end to her life.
In the earlier hearing her father cried bitterly, blaming himself for not allowing her to divorce.
Hanadi is represented by Atty. Shadfan, who was not present [Even though he is a private attorney, he did not show up out of solidarity with the striking prisoners]. Her mother and brother were present.
The prosecution said that there was a plea bargain on the way, and the judge asked to show it to Hanadi, hoping that she would accept it. In a plea bargain the accused has to plead guilty to the charges. The agreement includes an 18-month in prison plus a 2000-shekel fine or alternatively 16 months in prison and a 4000-shekel fine.
When she was allowed to speak, Hanadi wanted to know why she should confess to something she had not done. Her brother told the court that they object to an agreement signed without her attorney. They are willing to pay a higher fine for a reduced prison time.
The judge reiterated that the next hearing may be postponed for a long time and there is no guarantee that an attorney would show up.
The brother stood his ground and the next hearing was set to 20.6.17.