Ofer - Danger to Regional Security

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Avital Toch, Ora Keydar (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Judge: Yoram Haniel

Prosecutor: Shlomi Schneider

Case No. 1668/08 - Haled Ra'ii

Defense attorney: Ahnad Safia

Charges: membership and activity in an unlawful organization

Defense: The accused was a Hamas candidate in the local elections. He admits that much, but he claims that after losing his bid, he severed all relations with the organization. "Except for the elections, I had no ties to Hamas." There is no reason to deal with this case here, as indicated by the previous judge.

Prosecutor: Yes, there are three good reasons: endangerment, the passage of time and delay.

Defense: Witness No. 4, Tawfiq Randor, testified on 23/4/07 and 6/9/07. But since the witness has been in detention since 2006 he cannot testify about the activities and membership of the accused, who was arrested in late September 2007.

Prosecutor: There is also an incriminating statement from 9/06/07.

Defense: He lives in Jericho. If the endangerment allegation is valid, why was he not arrested after his incriminating admission? Had he posed danger to the State of Israel, he would have been arrested. But he was not. This caused the delay! All the allegations center on his activity before the elections, so why was he arrested two years after the fact?

Judge: He is considered "dangerous" by the "Region" not by the State of Israel.

Defense: I am present here, in the State of Israel. Why else would there be a courthouse here? The question remains unanswered.

All the activities of the accused centered on the elections. He even met with Saeb Arakat, who offered him a job.

Prosecutor: The question about his membership until his arrest remains ...

Judge: The Qawasme ruling applies. It states that when there is evidence of membership in an unlawful organization, if there is no contradictory evidence, the membership is considered valid until the day of arrest...

Prosecutor: If Hamas nominates him as a candidate, how  can you claim that he terminated his allegiance when he lost the elections.

Judge: If the security forces had a statement, why was he not arrested?

Prosecutor: This is common practice: they release detaineesinfo-icon only in cases of participation in demonstrations.

Judge: You can arrest him after 6 month, a year, but not two years. What about the endangerment allegation?

Prosecutor: He was in jail in 1991 for 15 months for security violations.

Judge: He was included in a LIST of candidates; there is no proof of actual membership.

Defense: Back to the question of the long delay by the police.

The client is not dangerous, that's why he was not arrested. Others were arrested, but as far as he was concerned, Israel had nothing on him.

Thus the judge rules to release the defendant on bail for 3000 shekel, plus two Israeli third-party guarantors for 30-40,000 shekels. The defendant undertakes to report to the police and to any court hearing if summoned.