Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Remand Extension, Students

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Tova Szeintuch, Norah Orlow (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Russian Compound  

Sessions started at 10:20.

Cases involved remand extensions for 7 detaineesinfo-icon (two of them barred from meeting their attorneys).
They are all accused of membership and activity in Hamas.

We attended all the hearings - including the "barred" detainees (while the detainee himself was absent, of course, but the attorney was present.)

This time the right to public hearing was honored.

Judge: Adrian Agassi

Police investigators: 2 that we did not recognize. One named Shinan, the other Fares Jaber.

Defense: Fahmi Shkirat, Firas Sabah, Ma'amun Hashim, Belal Mahfuz.

Apart from the mess in the docket, we noted several other weird irregularities:

When an attorney asked the investigator the usual questions, but in a general or incomprehensible manner, the judge rephrased the questions, and eventually offered to compile a list of frequent questions, to make matters easier for the defense. [It is obvious that the judge, too, is aware how farcical the dialog between defense and interrogators is].

At 10:40 Attorney Mahfuz showed up, considerably late, explaining that he was delayed at the A-ram checkpoint. Upon arrival, he tried to admit to the court a couple of relatives of his client, a man and a woman. They are residents of Qalandiya refugee camp [annexed to Jerusalem and thus holders of blue ID cards, and eligible to come to the Russian Compound at the center of Jerusalem], but they were denied entrance. Marco, the supervisor of police interrogators, was summoned to resolve the situation. Marco insisted that only one person can be admitted in the court. We pointed out that TWO relatives may attend a detainee's hearing. True, said Marco, but in this case one of them is a female, and we are not equipped to carry out security checks on women here. He insisted that the attorney should have notified him a few days in advance (so they could summon a female police officer), and not only yesterday, as he did.

The judge suggested transferring all remand hearings to Ofer, where they routinely conduct security checks on all visitors. In the meantime, he added, the attorney has two options: postpone the hearing to a later date and hold it at Ofer, or keep the woman out.

Mahfuz opted for the second.
The detainee's brother was admitted into the court, and then the detainee himself.

Mahmud Na'aman Rajib Amtir - ID no. 318708179 - 19 years old,

from refugee camp Qalandiya.

Remand extension - by agreement - for 9 days.

The case will be transferred to Ofer for indictment.

Attorney Mahfuz represents another brother of the Amtir family.

The indictment, as in all other cases today, is "membership and activity in an unlawful organization".

At 11:50 detainee No. 7 is bought in from Petah Tikva detention center.

He is accompanied by a police officer from "Nachshon" unit. The officer was upset and enraged, because upon arrival at the Russian Compound at 11:00, they had to wait for clearance from Security (which were not informed of their coming) so they could drive the detainee inside the compound.

Again, the judge complained about the conditions here and suggested transferring the hearings to Ofer.

The detainee, a student at A-Najah University in Nablus, is accused of being active in Hamas, taking part in demonstrations and possessing combat material.

He has been in detention since17.11.08.

Remand extension request: 12 days.

The session ended at 12:00.