Ofer - Plea Bargain, Stone Throwing

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Roni Hammermann, Tova Szeintuch (reporting)

Translation: L.W.

Judge: Dror Sveranski

Prosecutor: Eran Levy

File No. 4876/07 Mustafa Ravhi Mustafa Aasi
, ID 850303280

(follow up - see report 13.3.08)

Charge: conspiracy to cause death.

Defense attorney: Naomi Hagar (office of Gabi Lasky and Semadar Ben-Natan)

Evidentiary stage - witness Nr. 1 summoned.

The prosecutor interrogates the witness intensively in order establish, that the accused manipulated him (the witness) into laying the explosive pipe by the separation fence.

The prosecutor wants to prove a close personal relationship between the witness and the defendant. He draws his conclusion from the police statements and the GSS investigations.

The initial questions refer to the witness' political activity: he hung up flags during the election, and also photos and "all sorts of things."

But the witness maintains that he knows the accused not from any political activity, but from a feud between the two clans: "there have been family problems between our families related to the honour of daughters since 2005."

This assertion (problems in the family) is repeated all through the interrogation of the witness: "He did not suggest that I do anything. I told the GSS, that there were problems in the family and that I wanted to avenge myself. In 2007, I got a beating from Mustafa and others on the background of problems in the family."

The prosecutor persists in declaring the witness hostile and a liar because, according to him, the witness had not mentioned a beating when he was interrogated by a police investigator. The witness adamantly insisted that he had mentioned it. The prosecutor says that the material is before him, and that the witness had not mentioned the beating as the motive for wanting to involve Mustafa as a partner in the crime.

The prosecutor: "Everything you told the police was a lie?"

Witness: "A part is correct: I was not a member of any organisation. But it is not correct that Mustafa suggested that we bring a gas pipe and put it by the [separation] fence. I said that I wanted to revenge my family."

The questions repeat what the witness had stated in the police statement: "I wanted revenge, and that is why I gave his name as my partner (e.i. I wanted to incriminate him)".

Defense cross examination: Naomi Hagar, by means of her questions and thoroughness, succeeds in proving that the witness is connected to Mustafa solely by revenge.

From the defense examination, we learn that the witness in his testimony to the police and the GSS, had given that version that the prosecutor seemingly could not find in the testimony in his possession: "I wanted revenge for the family."

When Naomi mentions the page number and line where it appears, the prosecutor apologizes to the judge for his mistake (sloppiness).

From Naomi's cross examination, we learn that during the interrogation the GSS threatened the witness with withdrawal of his pain killer medication (he had broken his leg in bolting from arrest), and had mainly threatened to destroy his house if he didn't cooperate.

The threats had worked - and he delivered names.

Mustafa has been in remand since September 2007.

Next hearing on 5.5.08.

File No. 1724/08 Mahmoud Salim Muhamad Abu Eid, ID 854666906)

Defense attorney: Iyad Misk

Three representatives of the DCI organization (Defence Children International) are present in court.

Mahmoud is 14 years of age, from the village Bidu. The child sits with his legs shackled,

seeking eye contact with his family.

He is accused of throwing stones at the separation fence.

Arrested in February 2008.

The indictment notes that when Border Police arrived, stones were thrown at their jeep, and they beat the child.

The judge wanted to understand the danger caused to the fence by the stones... The prosecution did not succeed in explaining this.

In any event, the child confessed and a plea bargain was reached.

According to the prosecution, this was a serious offence, but considering the age of the accused, the punishment should only be 4 months imprisonment and a fine of 1000 shekels. The child is only 14, and of course was returned to prison for two more months with adult detaineesinfo-icon.

When the judge asked the child if he wanted to add anything, the boy asked that he be allowed to return to school...