Ofer

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Observers: 
Hagit Sh., Havah H. (reporting)
Oct-23-2007
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Translation: Eldad K.


Hall 7

Defense: Zachalka
In the defendant’s corner sat three members of one family, A’atsem Abed El-Gafar Isa, Basel Abed El-Gafar Isa, and Mu’atsav Abed El-Gafar Isa (brothers apparently), unshaven, in dusty work clothes. The proceedings revolve around one incident, where three policemen accuse the three defendants of cruelly beating them up and the accused testify that it was the policemen who beat them up. (No mention was made of cruelty here). The policemen do not deny that they used force but only to apprehend the suspects and the force they used was reasonable, as condoned and allowed by the law. “Yom Kippur has just passed, a day of mercy and atonement; this is a most serious offence, not just violence but violence against the servants of the law. Imagine, sir, a situation in which our colleagues, policemen, will receive blows on every occasion. This case is about a real danger and I ask to imprison them until all judicial steps in this case have been finalized”.

The defense counsel has this to say: The three brothers were driving back from work and a truck was blocking their path. They tried to pass the truck and then the policemen signaled and stopped them, and tried to given them a ticket. One of the workers, Basel, descended the vehicle and wanted to photograph the truck that was blocking the road in order to have a record of the situation, in case it went to trial. When the policemen saw this attempt to gather evidence they fell upon him and started to beat him. His shirt was torn and he had bruises and cuts on his face. Another policeman, Uzi Cohen, hit him in the face with the butt of his gun. Basel, in his brazen impudence, tried to stop the blow and grabbed the butt of the rifle with his hand, which appeared in the indictment as an attempt to snatch the rifle.
Basel's injuries were apparently treated by an Israeli medic. We understood that the person who treated him refused to give him a written report concerning his wounds and thus this is missing from his file, a fact used by the prosecution. The defense lawyer said that every work day they lose constituted a financial hardship and asked for a decision on the spot ... apparently in the certainty that the judge will release the defendants on bail because they were not dangerous. (I do not know how long they have already been under arrest).

The judge's decision reads: “...in view of the above I direct to extend the arrest of defendant #2 (Basel, who was hit according to the defense, and was hitting according to the prosecution) until the end of the proceedings on his case, and the release of defendants #1 and #3 under the following conditions:

1. A deposit of 12,000 NIS each. (This is imposed on people experience hardship with each day without work, according to the defense counsel).
2. A third-party guarantee of 12,000 NIS each. The guarantee to be signed by a resident of Israel or someone who is licensed to work in Israel, or a resident of the region (a term used to mean a Palestinian) who is licensed to work in Israel.
... in the absence of these guarantees defendants # 1 and 3 (Mu’atsam and A’atsam) will be arrested and will be brought before a judge on Sept. 24, 2007 (we will try to follow up)."

The prosecutor immediately requests a deferment of the implementation of 72 hours on the basis of an existing verdict but the judge determined a deferral of 48 hours only and got his way. The protocol of the trial is available to all interested. The arraignment for Mu’atsam and A’atsam is set for Nov. 4, 2007.