Ofer - Stone Throwing, Remand Extension

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Yehudit Sternberg, Norah Orlow (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Courtroom 5 - Remand Extensions

Judge: Major Michael Ben David

We came for the hearing of Abdallah Abu Rahma, who was abducted from his bed a week ago and has been kept in detention ever since. Abdallah is one of the key figures in the Popular Struggle Against the Separation Wall in Bil'in, which has been going on for nearly 5 years now, with demonstrations every Friday. He and other key figures have been targeted by the army and the GSS in their attempt to quash this popular, non-violent resistance, which is apparently more dangerous than armed resistance. There have been many such arrests lately.

There were several other remand extension hearings before Abu Rahma's. A few cases ended in plea bargains, such as the case of a minor suspected of throwing rocks in Qalandiya. After admitting his guilt he was sentenced to jail time coinciding with his detention and a 2-month probation for two years.

Another case was that of a man from the village of Yatta [Ali...?], 28 years old and married.

He was caught with a fake entry permit for which he had paid 400 shekels, and is accused of staying illegally in Israel. His defense attorney Lubani, asks for release on bail under restricted conditions. The man will be released! His trial is set for 4.1.09 before Justice Menachem Lieberman.

Abdallah Abu Rahma's trial began around noon. Case No. 3813/09. ID 99744670

Prosecutor: Lieut. Hagai Rotstein

Defense: Atty. Nery Ramati of Gaby Lasky's law firm

Present in court: Abdallah's wife, 4 activists of the struggle against the wall and ourselves.

The prosecutor reminds the court that there are three open cases, from 2005, against the suspect, all before Justice Lieberman. In those cases he was released [on bail and under restricted conditions]. The prosecutor wants a re-examination of the previous cases with a view to returning the suspect to custody, since he consistently violates the conditions of his detention. The prosecution requests a few days of remand ‘until the conclusion of the proceedings' to prepare an indictment in the new allegations against the suspect.

The defense moves to have the hearing this week, as per Justice Azmon's decision of the day before.

Prosecutor: The suspect is accused of being a member of the Committee Against the Wall in Bil'in; he has been active in inciting demonstrators to violence and on one occasion was in possession of combat materiel [??] as 4 witness testified. I therefore move to extend his remand by 8 days to prepare an indictment.

Defense: There's no need for 8 days to prepare the indictment; the prosecution knows the case very well from statements obtained in June and July. Many indictments have been submitted containing similar charges.

The judge sides with the prosecution, but decides on 6 days remand, until 22.12.09.