Ashqelon - Remand Extension, Health Problems

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Yael Agmon, Niva Segev

Translation: Jonathan M.

The judge is a religious lieutenant-colonel who, in past occasions, refused to give us his name.

Surprisingly, the judge arrived early today, and we were allowed into the courtroom immediately, with no waiting or attempts to keep us out. We all waited inside the courtroom for about half an hour for the detaineesinfo-icon to be brought in.

The hearings began at 10:30. The first three detainees were barred from meeting with an attorney.

The schedule for each of these hearings:

Detainee #1: 10:30-10:40

Detainee #2: 10:41-10:50

Detainee #3: 10:50-10:55

Detainee Nr. 4. Amar Awiwi. Has been detained since 5.2.08. The hearing started at 10:55 and ended at 11:07. Remand in custody of 22 days is requested. The judge is handed a confidential report. The family was notified of his arrest on 7.2.08. The detainee is represented by attorney Anwar Abu Omar, who is familiar to the investigator and who knows the date of the hearing. The investigator requests a remand in custody of 22 days.

Detainee:  initially my detention was extended by 22 days, then it was extended again by another 22 days. My investigation is over and so is the investigation of the other suspects who were with me. I'm a sick man and my health is deteriorating because I'm not receiving proper treatment. I'm supposed to get medication for my lungs and eyes.

The investigator told me yesterday that he was done with me and that I was being held because of the other suspects.

The judge asks if he has seen a doctor. The detainee answers that he has, but that he has not received treatment and that he cannot see with one eye.

Judge's ruling: after examining the file I have decided that there is reasonable cause...

Remand in custody for 15 days.

Detainee Nr. 5. 11:08-11:20.

Salman Kawasmy. Arrested on 5.2.08

Attorney Fahmi Awiwi from the "Prisoner's Club" visited the detainee a week ago.

Investigator: Requests remand extention in custody of 15 days for investigation purposes. He spoke to the detainee's attorney who in court in Jerusalem. He said that he would try to make it to the hearings in Ashkelon. I looked for him outside the courthouse but did not see him. The guards outside have orders to let him in immediately if he shows up. The investigator asks the judge to grant his request.

The judge to the detainee: Do you understand the request?

Detainee:  I have no problem with the request. However, during my investigation I was interrogated with military techniques and not regular interrogation techniques. I was not shown an a court order authorizing a military investigation. This investigation has to do with the terrorist attack in Dimona, but later they realized, that I was not involved with the incident.

During the military investigation I told a long story. Later on, in my police statement,

I denied everything. I was taken back to further investigation and denied it again. On 27.2.08 my detention was supposed to end, but on 28.2.08 it was again extended

by 22 days. I was interrogated two or three times. I was told that everyone who was connected to the Dimona incident had been found, and that I had nothing to with what happened; but because I had told that story, they wanted to know how I got my information. I made up the whole story during the military investigation, because I wanted to clear my conscience, but it was all made up.But apparently some of what I told turned out to be true. There was no logic in what I said during the investigation, I just made things up which turned out to be partly true.

Decision: after review the file it seems like there is reasonable cause for suspicion. However, there is not explained how many days of investigation are needed, and I would like to make sure the investigators correct this. In addition, the file shows, that the suspect has a criminal record, and a suspended sentence for membership in a hostile organization. It should be noted that this decision is from 10.08.05 and indicates the short time that has passed till this additional investigation. I have taken into account that the suspect is not represented in this hearing and am remanding custody for 12 days until 30.3.08.

Nadal Abu Acram. Hearing started at 11:30.

The detainee does not know who represents him.

The investigator: the detainee was arrested on 28.2.08, was interrogated and admitted the charges against him. He is represented by attorney Fahmi Awiwi, to whom I spoke this morning. The attorney is in Jerusalem and could not make it to the hearings. We agreed on remand extension in custody of 11 days, during which the investigation will conclude and the file will be transferred to the prosecution.

The judge to the investigator: "you know me and know that I do not accept such agreements."

The detainee: No comment. But should like to see a lawyer.

The judge to the detainee: the attorney did not speak with you?

The detainee: no.

The judge: He said that he represents you.

Decision: after reviewing the case, I've decided that there is reasonable suspicion regarding the detainee. According to the investigator, he discussed the case with the detainee's attorney. According to the detainee, he does not know attorney Awiwi and has never spoken to him. This being the situation, I cannot accept the attorney's absence, nor can I accept the agreement reached between him and the investigator. Under these circumstances I cannot confirm the statement made by the defense, who is supposed to monitor the investigation and its correctness. Taking into account the public interest and the interest of the defendant, I remand custody for 8 days, until 27.3.08, in order to enable the detainee's transfer to Ofer detention center.