Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Activity against security in the region, Barred (from meeting with attorney)

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Roni Hammermann, Tova Szeintuch (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


Judge: Lieut. Col. Heilbronn

Investigator: Ihab Halabi

Defense: Ma’amoun Hashim, Judd Kadmani, Tareq Bargouth


There were 8 cases in the docket, 2 of the detaineesinfo-icon were barred from seeing counsel; one case has already been transferred to Ofer Military Court.


Before the hearing the judge reminded us to leave the court when a “barred” detainee is brought in (when attorneys also have to leave).


Mahmoud Sami Halef Abiat – ID 859692501

Born: 1.9.95,

Arrested on 1.12.18 in his home in Bethlehem.

Charges: participation in “disturbances” (i.e., demonstrations), activity against security in the area, conspiracy to incitement and possession of arms.


The investigator requested an extension of 15 days. The sides reached an agreement on 8 additional days and the judge approved.


Ahmad Nafez Muhammad Masalme – ID 405701616

Born: 3.9.200.

Arrested on 20.11.18.


The charges: attempted homicide (he stabbed a civilian – a Jew – several times in Beit Jala), as well as obstruction of justice.


The police requested 11-day remand extension.


Atty. Bargouth asked to speak to his client and the judge agreed.

Justice Heilbronn was busy examining the file, so all those present in the room: investigator, interpreter, 3 Nahshon Unit guards and attorneys, all listened to the exchange between client and counsel: there was no privacy.



There were questions and answers between the investigator and the defense. It turned out that the injured civilian was taken to hospital and released after several hours.

(At first the investigator refused to report on the severity of the injury). A knife was found and serves as evidence.

The detainee told the attorney that his interrogation by the Shabac [GSS] was brutal. The attorney asked the investigator if he was aware of this fact and the later said No.


The detainee underwent psychiatric examination at the Emergency ward in Hadassah. His father had turned him in and brought him to the police. The father reported that his wife was treated in hospital in Bethlehem because the son had attacked her. The defense showed documents to support this. The papers were in Arabic and the investigator wondered if they would help the detainee. But Atty. Bargouth insisted on submitting them as proof of his client’s previous outbursts.


Defense summation:

“I submit documents attesting to the mother’s injury by the detainee, two weeks before the attack on the Israeli civilian.” (The investigator claims that the documents state that the mother was injured by others, and the son is not mentioned). The police did not try to get to the truth of the matter, not even when it came to the knife: he used a Japanese knife. There had been no attempt to assess his psychiatric condition. He claims that pressure had been applied to make him confess that he intended to murder.

“I move to transfer the case to the prosecution.”


Judge’s decision:

“I find solid grounds to connect the suspect to the charge.” According to the secret file there has been important development in the investigation. Remand extension is warranted because he poses risk. (He is a skinny, emaciated, scared boy, about to burst out in tears – Observers’ comment).

The judge decided on 8 additional days. The detainee had undergone psychiatric exam that determined that his condition allows the investigation to continue.


Diab Saadi Nimer Muzleh – Barred from seeing counsel

ID 975650250

Born: 22.10.1963,

resident of the village Hirbet Mazbah

He was arrested on 26.11.18

Charges: Endangering security in the region and conspiracy to commit murder.


The detainee was not present at the hearing. The investigator requested 12 additional days.


Q: In the previous hearing it was reported that the detainee was in hospital. When was he released?

A: 30.11.

Q: What did the doctors say?

A: That he has no medical issues and can undergo interrogations. He was checked at a civilian hospital.

Q: Can the judge check the medical record? How many hours can he be interrogated? How many hours can he sit in a chair?

A: The medical records are not in the file. You can request them.

The judge examined the hospital report and declared that the detainee is in fine condition. True, he has heart problems and diabetes and needs follow-up.

Q: How many times has he been interrogated since his release form hospital?

A: Once.

Q: What did he say?

A: Tied himself to the suspicions, but not in a realistic manner. The investigation continues.

Q: Does he know why he is interrogated?

A: Yes,

Q: How recent are the charges?

A: Recent.

Q: Does he understand that he is suspected of planning a military action not of carrying one out?

A: It’s in the secret file.

Q: Are other people implicated?

A: In the secret file.

Q: Was he confronted with the others?
A: In the secret file.

Defense summation:

“The judge is familiar with the case because the court dealt with an earlier remand extension when the detainee was in hospital due to heart and diabetes problems. Then a few days remand extension were ruled. He should not be interrogated here because of his serious health issues. The charges against him are not of military nature. Perhaps he was in telephone contact with family or friends. Since he is barred from seeing counsel, we don’t really know.

We request the court to release him or to shorten his detention.”


We left the court. A short man with white hair was ushered into the court. After a while he was taken out.


The judge decided on a 4-day remand extension.