Ofer - Release on Bail, Stone Throwing

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Mili Mass, Norah Orlow (reporting) + Itai K. (guest)


Translation: Diana Rubanenko

 The court was working today in a very restricted format. While we were there, only two courtrooms were functioning and relatively few relatives of detaineesinfo-icon were waiting outside.  Among them was a father who pleaded for us to be present during the remand extension of his 14-year old son.

Many minors were brought today for their remand to be extended. An attorney whom we talked to confirmed that most of the cases heard recently in the military court in Judea are of minors. The majority are accused of stone-throwing, as we reported in previous reports (see: ‘Ofer’” 25.10.10 / 3.11.10 / 10.11.10).

 In Courtroom 5 (I was unable to obtain the judge’s name) there were mostly remand extensions.  Among those brought in were some minors. While we were in the courtroom, three minors were brought in for remand extension. One of them looked no more than 13. The judge told him he would have to remain in custody until the end of the judicial proceedings. He will be brought before Judge Sharon Rivlin-Ahai on Monday, 6.12.10, and until then will have to remain in custody.

 We moved to Courtroom 4 where five minors were brought in (among them the son of the man who had asked us to attend his son’s hearing).

Judge: Major Zvi Heilbronn

Prosecutor: Ltd. Eli Tsitrin

Defence: Attorney Muhammad Mahmoud (on behalf of the organisation Defence for Children International)

Three cases of youngsters from Abu Dis were deliberated jointly:

 Muhammad Jaleb Muhammad Iyad, I.D. 859233298 – Case 4702/10, age 15

Yazan Jamal Hassan Atallah, I.D. 401363072 – Case 4700/10, age 14

Muhammad Rajib Albasheeti,  I.D. 401906912, Case 4704/10, age 15

 The prosecutor used in his arguments the incriminating evidence of prosecution witnesses [teenagers]. He maintained that everyone in fact had incriminated everyone else, and while being investigated related how they had taken part in three incidents during demonstrations and allegedly threw Molotov cocktails and stones at army Jeeps.

 The defence attorney counter-argued that the investigation of the teenagers was performed by a person who is not a youth investigator that is, he is not authorised to question minors, and certainly not at 02:00 and 04:00 in the morning. He argued that the statements were not made by the minors who told him that they do not admit what is ascribed to them. Moreover, he noted that none of the minors’ parents were allowed to be present during the interrogation, even though they were present at the Ma’aleh Edumim police station. For all those reasons, he asked to annul the statements and to release  the minors.

 The prosecutor reminded the court that the Youth Law does not apply in the Occupied Territories – only in Israel. He asked the judge to order the detention of the minors until the end of the proceedings.

 The judge acceded to the prosecutor’s request, and so the three boys will remain in custody until the end of proceedings, and will be brought before Justice Sharon Rivlin-Ahai on Monday, 29.11.10.

 The two other boys are accused of participating in a procession which had no permit and also of throwing stones at soldiers in A-Ram on 23.10.10. Both are aged 15.

 Muhammad Ibrahim Abed al Hamid Abu Maria, I.D. 860017136 – Case 4571/10.

In this case too, the prosecutor seeks to extend the remand of the youth until the end of proceedings, and stresses the danger he presents as a stone-thrower, despite his young age.

The defence requests an alternative to custody for the boy, because no one was injured and no damage to property was caused. When interrogated, the boy admitted to the accusation, said that he had made a mistake and added that when he told his parents at home that he’d thrown stones, his father hit him. His parents were in the courtroom and were willing to guarantee that the  boy would not repeat the offense. The Eid-el-Adha holyday was approaching, and he asked for the boy’s release.

 The judge’s decision: detention until the end of the judicial proceedings. Being a minor does not confer immunity to detention.

The case was scheduled for presentation to Justice Sharon Rivlin-Ahai on Monday, 29.11.10.

Jihad Yussuf Hassan Alkam, I.D. 854595626 – Case 4575/10

The judge decided to release him on bail of NIS 7000. Since the family is unable to pay such an amount, a meeting to discuss bail will be held on Sunday, 21.11.10.