Ofer - Release on Bail, Minors
Translation: Marganit W.
At the entrance shed we were accosted by two men: their nephew, 14, has
been detained for two months. He was arrested at home on 29.2.08, charged
with throwing objects. A soldier identified him by his red shirt. The boy
suffers from a broken left arm (from before his arrest), which is in cast.
He may be suffering from other medical conditons. The two were summoned
as witnesses in his trial. Eventually, the hearing did not take place that
day, due to another trial that took place in Courtroom 4 and lasted too
long (see further). The boy's hearing was set to Sunday 4.5.08.
His name: Fadi Ibrahim Abu-Daoud
Case No. 1971/08
ID No. 858652886
Three women complained to us about invasive and humiliating bodily exams
(including palpating their breasts). This is not the first time we hear
such complaints. It always concerns the same female soldier.
Judge: Captain Shmuel Keidar
Proseciutor: Leut. Tom Mor
Daoud Mussa Shukka - Case No. 2015/08
Charge: producing and throwing incendiary material.
A very short discussion concerning postponement of arraignment and
evidentiary hearings to 9.7.08. A certain witness will be summoned to that
hearing, unless the defendant confesses first.
Since by noon the defendant had not confessed, the arraignment hearing
remained scheduled for 9.7.08.
The next case began before noon, but continued into the afternoon session,
because of delays by the prosecutions. The afternoon session was observed
by Hava Halevi and Hagit Shlonsky, and they will complete the report.
Aed Abd el-Rahman Said Baranat, released on bail.
Case No. 6195/06
Charge: Leaving the area without a permit
Defense: Atty. Gabi Lasky
We gleaned the details of the case piece by piece as the hearing
progressed. The defendant took part in demonstrations against the
separation fence in Bilin, and continued to demonstrate after the area was
declared a closed military zone. Among other allegations, he is charged
with committing "violent acts against a military officer".
The case has been dragging in the courts for a long time. The discussion, which was
quite heated, centered on the prosecution's move to postpone the hearing
yet again, because two witnesses could not show up. One is abroad -
apparently permanently, and the other is engaged in regimental maneuvers
at the moment. It transpired that in earlier hearings, too - on 2.2.08 and
1.4.08 - those witnesses did not show up, although duly summoned. Thus,
the judge decreed that the prosecution should sum up its case (by
declaring: "These are my witnesses"). Since the witnesses did not show up,
the prosecution requested an order to halt proceedings. The order,
however, has not been signed yet.
The defense objected vehemently to the prosecution's motion, since this is
the second time proceedings had been halted in this case. Because of the
protracted proceedings, the defendant has been unable to obtain a magnetic
card, and consequently, his rights, as well as his freedom of movement and
profession, have been seriously curtailed. The defendant, who is released
on bail, has been duly reporting for every hearing, and there is no reason
to prolong the process. She moved that the prosecution make do with the
testimony it has gathered so far and rest its case (declaring "these are
my witnesses"), especially seeing that one of the witnesses has left the
country for good.
The defense's main argument was that the prosecution's reasons for delay
are irrelevant: there are no witnesses and the prosecution knows that the
defendant is going to be acquitted. In earlier ruling, the court ordered
the prosecution to consider closing the case, but the prosecution tries to
delay the proceedings indefinitely, even though the offense in question is
minor, and the Supreme Court has ruled that the fence in Bilin should be
removed, and the witnesses consistently fail to show up.
In his final ruling, the judge said: If I were to commend the prosecution
in this case, it would be only for its tenacious determination to reach a
conviction at all cost. But the prosecution should act reasonably and not
see conviction as the be-all and end-all of its mission, but rather to do
justice and act decently toward a defendant who has been prosecuted for a
year and a half now on rather minor offenses. The prosecution should
channel its zeal to more suitable undertakings, not to this defendant.
Eventually, the prosecution's motion was rejected and it would rest its case.
Afternoon session, reported by Hagit Shlonsky and Hava Halevi (30.4.08 PM).
Because of the prolonged proceedings that spilled over to the afternoon
session, the judge allowed the defendant to go home for fear that the
checkpoints might close and he wouldn't be able to reach his village.
The defense focuses on one count in the indictment: Infringement of the
closed zone rules. She claims that no order concerning the closure was
presented; the defendant never saw such order, and such orders do not
apply to residents of the area.
There is no proof that the defendant is guilty of this offense. As for
other counts, the defense claims that there is no proof and the witnesses'
testimony is groundless and lacking in substantial details. In sum, the
defense states: the charge has no merit.
After some discussion between the sides, and procedural clarifications,
the judge hands down a ruling:
The defendant is acquitted of 3 of the 4 charges because of lack of proof.
The one count that stands is "disturbing a policemen on duty".
To be continued on 6.10.08 at 13:00.