Ofer - Stone Throwing, Remand Extension

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Hagith Shlonsky, Noah Arad-Yairi, Avital Toch (reporting)

Translation: L.W.

A day that was entirely remand extensions in Courtroom 7.

Judge: Moshe Levy

Prosecutor: Sagi Grinfeld

File 3600/07 - Malek elGandi

Defense Attorney: Advc. Iyad Misk

Malek is a 15 year old boy from Yatta, accused of two offences:

1. Throwing stones

2. Penetrating to Israel

On the night of 24.12.07 he was taken off a vehicle by a Border Policeman, when on his way from Beersheba to Hebron, and was brought for investigation to Kiriyat Arba.

On 25.12.07 was brought before a judge.

On 27.12.07, a hearing was held without his presence.

Advc. Misk visited him in detention after he admitted in interrogation throwing stones. According to the charge he was with two others who have already been tried.

Today's hearing is the first one to take place with a lawyer.

Judge: the prosecutor is asking to remand the accused. The defense has agreed, provided that the right will remain for a return hearing, and the agreement will not be construed as an admission of anything attributed to the accused. After studying... there is reason for remand, and accordingly I extend his remand until conclusion of the legal proceedings.

Arraignment is set for Monday, 4.2.08.

At some stage, a representative of Yesh Din entered the court with a media representative.

Four detaineesinfo-icon were brought in together, all represented by Advc. Abu Ahmad.

File 3869/06 - Jabara Shatia

Offences - being illegal in Israel, possession of a knife; in practice the reference is to half a scissors blade, 9.5 cm long.

Discussion between the defense attorney and prosecutor, before the judge, as to the need for remand in custody.

The attorney points to precedents in which courts were satisfied in similar cases to impose conditional detention. There is no cause for detention, and he suggests an alternative to it.

The prosecutor relates to [the defendant] as an  "illegal with a record in the past," obligating remand according to the appeals court on grounds of being dangerous, fear of flight from justice because "combination of offences" results in actual imprisonment.

Judge: there are three charges against the accused:

1. Driving an unregistered (stolen) Israeli vehicle

2. Possession of a knife (half a scissors)

3. Attempted assault - when arrested, tried to attack one of the people present using his trousers belt.

(Personal note - no detail on how you attack with a trousers belt)

After study, I am satisfied..., but the parties are not in agreement about the reason for remand. After studying the contentions and rulings, my opinion is that in this case an alternative to detention will suffice, and there is no need for remand until the conclusion of proceedings. I did not see in the evidential material facts that indicate a fear of flight from justice. As for endangerment, there is no doubt that the reference is to an event... but it seems to me that an alternative to remand which will ensure his appearance for trial will suffice. Possession of the knife attributed to him refers to half a scissors which was not used during the incident.

Attempted assault is not a severe event for this kind of offence. The ruling submitted deals mostly with offences of illegal stay which is not attributed to the accused.

1. A third party guarantee by two guarantors of 10,000 shekels each (adjusted to 15,000 without appearance)

2. Appearance once a week in the nearest police station to his place of residence

I order his release on the following conditions -

3. Deposit of 12,000 shekels in cash (apparently adjusted to 30,000 shekels without appearance)

Examination of guarantee - 6.1.08 before the arrests judge.

Here the defense attorney informed the judge about the circumstances of life. The accused to be released lives in Nablus, and the nearest police station is of the Palestine Police, and he suggests that the accused reports there.

The judge raises the amount of the bail guarantee as a replacement for appearance (at police station).

The prosecutor requests a stay of implementation for 48 hours to allow consideration of submission of an appeal. The defense attorney proposes that the prosecution be given half an hour in which to consider that there are no security offences involved; an appeal is to be submitted by the end of the day.

Prosecutor: the time will not suffice for study of the file.

Judge: stay of implementation for 48 hours, the accuser will respond within 24 hours as to whether they intend to submit an appeal, and if not - the accused will be released on the conditions set.

Arraignment on 5.2.08 before Judge Liberman.

File 3803/07 - Jihad Abu Sabha

Defense attorney: Advc. Abu Ahmad

The accused was incriminated by two witnesses and accused in that he transported through a checkpoint 15 "illegals" without permits to work in Israel, hampered the soldiers at the checkpoint, and each one of those illegals could be a separate charge.

According to the defense attorney, the 15 had not yet entered Israel, and therefore their presence was totally legal for they were in possession of Palestinian IDs. And therefore the only charge is - driving a vehicle without license. There is no danger in his actions, these files do not justify remand until the conclusion of proceedings, and had he been caught driving without a license in Israel, he would not have been arrested but released immediately.

The defense proposes alternatives to remand in custody and requests to release him in the light of his young age and the fact that this is his first encounter with the law.

Judge: in the indictment it is argued that on 9.12.07 he drove a vehicle not registered in the region, without a valid license, and that he transported in his vehicle 15 men who did not have legitimate permits to enter Israel. The accused tried to pass a second checkpoint without stopping for inspection by the soldiers, and continued to drive until the soldiers were forced to pass and stop him, whereupon he was arrested.

I am convinced... after consideration... that there is room to remand the accused until completion of the proceedings.

Arraignment set for 5.2.08, before Judge Liberman.

File 3840/07 - Haled Abu Latife

Defence attorney: Advc. Akram Samara

The family is asked to come in.

No details about the charges, for there is agreement between the prosecution and defense about extension of remand., the prosecution only submitting a relevant ruling and the defense accepting remand until completion of proceedings without this being construed as confession or reinforcement of evidence.

Judge: orders remand until completion of proceedings.

Arraignment set for 5.2.08 before Judge Liberman.

The next accused does not appear in the list; the file was created today.

File 4020/08 or 4003/08 (not clear which) - Bassa Muhamad el Basama

Not clear what the charges are, and the hearing revolved around appointment of a lawyer: would he take a lawyer from the court list, or would the family choose the attorney that would represent him. He prefers a court lawyer. Advc. Lubani enters and announces that Abu Ahmad will also join the defense; the prosecutor explains the indictment to him.

The judge appoints the two lawyers as defense and postpones the session for a few days for them to learn the evidential material and meet the defendant.

(Personal note: is the reference to ‘accused', or to ‘suspect'? After all, Basama has only just been arrested, and no indictment has been submitted. Why is he accused when he has not yet been charged?)

Judge: remand extended to 6.1.08.

The next hearing relates to remand extension of a detainee from the Russian Compound.

Faraj Atrash Abu el-Muhsein

Hearing - remand extension by 20 days for investigation.

The investigator, Benlulu, in civilian clothes, submits a classified memo regarding investigative activities and intelligence data, and adds background and description of the accusations. The detainee was recently released from prolonged imprisonment for a number of cases of robbery and kidnapping. He continued his criminal activity by carrying out other robbery offences. The reference is to a smart man who learnt police work and is proud that he often knows exactly where the points of weakness are.

He requests to represent himself.

The detainee (in fluent Hebrew): I am not accused, but only a suspect under investigation. I have not been convicted for robbery, and even if it had been the case, it has nothing to do with this file. There is a trial going on between me and the investigator, Benlulu. I have submitted a complaint against him to the Police Department investigating police forces, because he asked me for a bribe.

Since yesterday he has been threatening me with prison. For eight days they have not interrogated me. I was beaten, and I asked for another investigator. I am prepared to answer the court regarding the questions I was asked in the investigation. Yesterday the investigator trod on my handcuffs and continues to threaten me.

Only by the law will I fight you, ya Benlulu! Therefore I object to a remand of ten days.

Judge: the request is to extend remand by 20 days for the purpose of a classified investigation. Against the suspect there are suspicions relating to involvement in robbery and kidnapping. The investigation is in its beginnings, and more activities are planned. There is room to extend his remand in custody to allow continued investigation, but there is no room for such a long extension and it is important that judicial supervision of the investigation and detention will continue.

Remand extended by ten days.

Suspect: I need the protocol. It is my right. It is a small part of what I am enduring.

He receives the protocol.

Two detainees with similar files are brought in.

File 3870/07 - Husam Masri

Defense attorney: Shadi Qawar

Extract of accusation, from judge's summery: an indictment has been submitted attributing to him membership in the Jihad Ha'Islami organization since 2005; he distributed fliers and recruited another person to the ranks of the organization.

Defense: the contentions are factually different and legally similar.

The prosecutor requests remand in custody until completion of proceedings. The accused confirms acquaintanceship with the incriminator who is a cousin of his.

The accused is a member in cell (unknown) of the Islamic Jihad... terror, etc.

Defense: there is no evidence, even apparent. The incriminators are mistaken about dates, and the witness who corroborates the incrimination did not identify any of the participants. The accused denies everything, has no security record in the past and contends that his name is mentioned for personal reasons and because of difficulties between him and his cousin. As for danger, if he was in a cell since 2005, almost two years, he did not carry out any action that endangers the security of the state.

In the file there are omissions regarding the investigation: there was no confrontation between Masri and the main witness, and there were no additional investigative actions in the light of his denial of the accusations. The accused is studying technology and computers in the afternoons, and working with his father in a carpentry shop. He could be released on bail.

Judge: the representative of the accused contends that there is no apparent evidence that justifies extended remand in custody and there is no cause for detention; elaborates the incriminations; the complaints will be debated in the trial. The evidence, on the face of it, is sufficient for continued remand, and I order extension to the end of proceedings.

Arraignment - 11.2.08 - before Judge Liberman.

File 3821/07 - Hisham Karnaz

Same indictment, but without incrimination by a relative.

Prosecutor: the accused was in administrative detention for almost three years because of his activity in Jihad HaIslami organization. The prosecution wants to take precautions, lest the reference is to the same activity. The previous incriminator relates that he knew Karnaz after his release from Israeli prison. All other evidence is the same as that in the previous file. The membership in itself is cause to classify as dangerous.

Defence attorney: denies everything attributed to the suspect. He has no security past, and unlike the previous file, the accused does not know the incriminator, has no connection with him, and does not know why his name is included among members of the cell.

His administrative detention lasted 34 months. He was released on 30.11.06. After such a long period of detention, there is no purpose to his membership. He is not accused of any activity other than the membership, though this activity could return him to prison. We all know that, to be released from detention, the incriminating witness is willing to give scores of names.

Requests release and alternative to remand, but the judge extends remand until completion of proceedings.

Arraignment - 11.2.08 before Judge Liberman.