Petah Tikva - Stone Throwing, Remand Extension

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Ada Heilbronn (reporting)

Translation: L.W.

Judge: Major Itai Regev

Investigator: Sergeant Major Aatef Awida

The outer wall of the Detention Centre has been sealed. There are no longer windows through which it was somehow possible to peek in or hear voices.

When I arrived I saw a warder bringing a detainee blindfolded and with legs manacled down stairs. I asked him about this new procedure, and he replied that this was the order he'd been given. The supervisor of warders also didn't understand what the problem was - they were in Petah Tikva Detention Centre for the first time. Hearing the discussion between us, the investigator came out of the courtroom and ordered the warder to remove the detainee's blindfold, while promising that this would not happen again.

Hearings began at 08:45. 2 "prohibited" (from meeting with lawyers) detaineesinfo-icon were brought in.

At 09:55, Advocates Aabed and Mahajna arrived, to be joined later by former Knesset member Adv. Mohamed Miari (who came to observe the trial of a detainee who is a relative),

Adv. Abu Wasel Jelal, Adv. Samar Samaan and another lawyer accompanied by two Japanese. The latter ignored everyone, talking only to the Japanese; apparently he was defending a detainee held under a "ban on publication of the case." Only the lawyer was admitted to his trial. The Japanese were not allowed in, and the policewomen were also sent out of the hearing. The Japanese, with a traditional bow, refused to say who they were, where they had come from and how they were connected to the trial.

Two young and very attractive policewomen sat, bored, at the back of the courtroom. The warders tried to draw their attention, and sat next to them, venturing a conversation which was cut short whenever they had to remove a detainee whose hearing was over. This was the first time I didn't see them pulling at the shirts of detainees in order to remove them while they, the detainees, were still talking to their lawyers, or the judge was reading out their verdict.

Today there were 14 detainees, of whom five were prohibited from meeting a lawyer. Among them were two minors.

Hearings for 8 suspects lasted until 12:20, when the court adjourned for lunch break.

1. Ahmad Elsalaam Tawfiq Misaad, ID 852327204, from Balata Refugee Camp,

arrested 28.5.08.

Request: 8 days remand in custody.

Advocate Mahajna asked that the remand be set by the requirements of the case, and not by the holydays of the investigating authority.

Decision: 8 days.

2. Majdi Sabih Hussein Abu Yassin, ID 911536134, from Nablus, arrested 14.5.08.

Request: 16 days remand in custody.

Advocate Aabed states that the youngster is suffering from severe back pains, and the conditions in Petah Tikva detention center make are difficult for him.

In his decision, the judge orders that the detainee be moved to a place appropriate to his medical needs, and decides on 16 days.

3. Tarek Abdullah Muhamad Taher, ID 941120537, from Nablus, arrested 14.5.08.

Request: 16 days remand in custody.

Advocate Aabed agrees in the name of his client...

Decision: 16 days.

4. Muhamad Ala Talal Miari, ID 852476159, from Nablus, arrested 14.5.08.

Request: 16 days remand in custody.

Advocate Aabed requests to shorten the period. The investigator does not object on principle, but explains to the judge that there is a long weekend including the Shevuot Holyday.

Decision: 12 days.

5. Bader Adnan Muhamad Abu Masoud, ID 853398766, Luban el-Sharkia, arrested 19.5.08.

Request: 16 days remand in custody.

Advocate Samar Samaan submits certification, from the detainee's secondary school, of the dates of matriculation exams, and requests that the detainee be released to his parents' home. The lawyer details the accusations [throwing of stones and other objects] that occurred 4 years ago when the detainee was only 14. The investigator does not contradict the advocate's repeated mention of when the offence happened. He only notes that the accused linked himself to the charges, and the investigation is already in its closing stages. The minor requests transfer to a place more appropriate for the detention of minors.

Decision: an order to try and move him to an easier prison, and 14 days remand.

6. Sharida Hemed Yusuf Dawikat, ID 941300725, from Beita, arrested 18.4.08.

Request: 9 days remand in custody.

The detainee appears very thin, seeming anorexic, and is tense. Turning his head all the time to see who is speaking.

Advocate Mahajna says that the detainee claims to be without medical problems, and is eating normally.

Mahajna claims that there was a decision to shorten the detainee's detention, made in the Appeals Court. Is that instruction being ignored? The investigator claims that the file was not transferred to the military prosecution, and no indictment has been submitted, and therefore he can request an extension of remand.  Advocate Mahajna contends that the hearing in the matter of the detainee in the detention centre was to have taken place yesterday, and if there are new findings they are to be brought to tomorrow's hearing in the Appeals Court. The judge relates to that contention, saying that the Appeals Court ruled that his remand was to end tomorrow in order to examine the transfer of the file to the prosecution, and nowhere was it stated that this court does not have the power to discuss a request for remand extension, especially when it conforms to the decision of the Appeals Court.

Decision: 9 days "despite the fact, that in the course of these 9, days there are 4 days which,

by law, are free of hearings (weekends and holydays)."

7. Wassim Abed Elkarim Fatuah Haja, ID 852224708, from Balata Refugee Camp,

arrested 21.5.08.

Request: 16 days remand in custody.

This detainee is also a minor.

Advocate Jelal Abu Wasel, assisted by Advocate Mahajne.

Decision: 16 days.