Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Release on Bail, Stone Throwing

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Roni Hammermann, Tova Szeintuch (reporting)

Russian Compound

Translation: Jonathan M.

Judge: Ben-Tzion Shaeffer

Police interrogator: Itzik Yakubof

We observed three of the four cases deliberated today.

The first detainee is barred from meeting with an attorney. He is represented by attorney Shkirat.

The detainee is a 20 year old student, who has been detained since 3.2.09. The interrogator asks to remand the detainee in custody for 8 additional days.

The detainee denies the charges of being a member of a hostile organization.

All the information is in the secret file.

The police interrogator and the defense attorney agree on a remand in custody.

The judge approves the agreement.

Ramzi Aashur - I.D 85187104

This is the third time in which we see the detainee in a remand extension hearing. In a hearing that took place on 2.2.09, the judge gave the investigators a week to finish their work.

Today the interrogator requests a fourth remand in custody of 8 days in order to complete the investigation.

The judge reads through the secret file, looking over the charges that the interrogator defines as serious.

Aashur's attorney, Ma'amun Hashim, questions the investigator:

  • - When was the detainee last interrogated?
  • - That is written in the secret report. The investigation is not always frontal.
  • - That is your answer whenever there is no progress.
  • - The detainee is suspected of very serious allegations.
  • - Then why did you only take one police statement from him? Is it true that the suspect has not been questioned for 40 days?
  • - We did a lot during that period.
  • - Do you agree that the detainee was arrested for throwing stones at soldiers, and that he refutes that charge? Is the soldiers' statement in the file?
  • - The details are in the secret file.

The interrogator continues and claims that the detainee is also suspect of being a member of Hammas.

The suspect describes to the investigator the incident which led to his arrest. He denies any connection with Hammas.

Attorney Hashim asks when the investigation will be over.

The interrogator repeats that they request remand of custody for 8 days, and that future steps will be considered according to the development of the investigation.

Attorney Hashim summarizes: in light of the interrogators testimony, I ask the court to release the detainee as soon as the court deems acceptable.

Judge's ruling:

The judge describes the incident in which the suspect was arrested and the investigation process. He states that he has gone over all the memorandums, from the first to the last. The suspect was never interrogated about this particular offence, except for a very short, superficial reference that he was allegedly recognized by one of the soldiers in a lineup. There is no evidence regarding any of the other charges brought up against him.

The judge decides that there is no justification for remand custody and rejects the request of the police interrogator (i.e. he orders to release the prisoner).

The police interrogator stands speechless and can hardly believe his ears (neither can we).

The interrogator asks to delay the decision for 72 hours so he can appeal.

The judge agrees to delay the release for 72 hours in order to allow time to appeal (i.e. Thursday, 12.2.09)

The appeal regarding the case of Ramzi Aashur took place at the Ofer Military Court on the 12.2.09. The appeal was rejected and the man was released from custody, according to Judge Shaeffer's ruling.