Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Holding and trading of combat materiel, Danger to Regional Security

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Norah Orlow, Hagit Shlonsky (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W. 

Russian Compound

Judge: Captain Naphthali Shmulevitz

Investigator: Sergeant-major Yitzhak Yacoboff  (toward the end of the session he was replaced by top-sergeant Avi Kadmi)

Typist: Private Sophie Bertinsky (new employee, needed assistance from another typist)

Interpreter: Private Ronen Halabi  (provided intermittent translation; the investigator and the defense attorney helped him along).

The session began at 11:30 and ended around 13:30. The docket included 9 cases. Two of  the detaineesinfo-icon were barred from meeting a lawyer and, as usual, their cases were discussed, with either the detainee or the lawyer absent from court.

Two attorneys representing the suspects brought before the judge (Firas (?)

and Iliya Theodory) did not show up, and it is my impression that, as a consequence, those suspects ended up worse off in court, compared to the other suspects.

We have the protocol of the case court we chose to elaborate on, but it is important to point out that it contains many mistakes and inaccuracies. Most important is to point out, that some parts were deliberately omitted. They were amended and redacted by the judge as he dictated to the typist.

More on this later when we sum up what we heard in court and add details from the written protocol.

Muhammad Ziad Hader Abid Sabarna - I.D. number: 917739324, represented by Attorney Ahlam Haddad (hired privately).

Arrested on 3.2.08 and interrogated; he denies the allegations. During the morning, he took a lie detector test, but the results haven't yet been included in the file.

The investigator asks for an 18-day remand extension to conclude the investigation.

In reply to the defense questions regarding the detainee, the investigator cites "activities endangering regional security, possession of weapons, and suspicion of participation in a terrorist attack." The investigator further explains that the charges involve two incidents. It turns out that the same attorney represented Sabarna before, in 2006, when he was charged with attacking two soldiers and stealing their weapon. He was convicted and sentenced to 22 months in jail. The attorney reacts vehemently to the present allegation of TWO terrorist attacks: "You cannot prosecute twice for the same offence." The investigator reluctantly concurs and amends his statement. The judge asks the typist to DELETE and CORRECT. The protocol states that the present arrest is related to an attack that took place on January 2008, and that there is a connection between the two attacks. The defense attorney wants to know if there is evidence for such a connection. The investigator: "I am prohibited from giving any details... At this early stage of the investigation all that is needed for a remand extension is prima facie evidence... Later on, we'll supply more substantial evidence... etc."

From the protocol:

Defense: Why do you need 18 days?

Investigator: For the interrogation.

Defense: Of whom?

Investigator: The details are in the confidential report.


Defense: 4 days of investigation were not enough?

Investigator: The investigation has only one purpose: to get to the truth, nothing else.

In her summation, the defense states that the reason for detaining the accused is a theory the police or the SHABAK (GSS) has, that there is a connection between this accused and other youngsters suspected of the attack. But there is no evidence to link him to it.

The suspect denies any connection to the other perpetrators. The remand extension, she claims, is meant only to break his spirit. Since the suspect had already spent 4 days in interrogation, the defense requests release on restrictive conditions; when concrete evidence against her client materializes, he can be summoned again. Alternately, she requested to reduce the terms of the remand.

The judge sides with the defense as to the length of the remand, but argues that detention is necessary. Remand extension is set for 8 days, until 14.2.08.

Short reports of 5 other detainees:

Sabta Sabah - arrested on 16.1.08, and since then barred from meeting with a lawyer (for more than 20 days). In the first remand extension appearance he was represented by Attorney Maamun Hashim. The family hired Ahlam Haddad, who represents him today. The investigator requests 11 days remand extension. We do not know the judge's decision.

Yasser Abdullah - From Bethlehem area. His defense, Attorney Firas (not present in court) agreed earlier, in a phone conversation, to transfer the case to the prosecution. The investigator requests remand extension of 11 additional days. The judge wants to know why the extension is needed, seeing that the investigation is over, but without waiting for the investigator's answer, the judge grants the request for 11 days extension, adding, "But effort should be made to transfer him to Ofer, if possible."

Salah Abu Galia - Represented by Attorney Maamun Hashim. Remand extension for 11 more days, until 17.2.08, to enable a transfer of the case to the prosecution for indictment.

Ashraf Shamsana - The representing attorney, Firas, is not present in court. He was informed earlier that the Investigator requests a 28-day remand extension. In his absence, the judge decides on 22 days, until 28.2.08.

Muhand Darwish - From Beit Ur. His attorney is not present. The investigator requests a 28 extension. The judge agrees to 26 days, after checking the calendar that 3.3.08 falls on Monday.


Addition to the report:

Muhammad Ziad Hader Abid Sabarna - I.D. number: 917739324, whose remand in custody had been extended until 14.2.08, was released on Sunday, 10.2.08, without any conditions. No evidence of his having participated in the terror attack could be found.

Attorney Ahlam Hadad informed us about his release.