Ofer - Remand Extension, Sentence

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Hava Halevi, Avital Toch (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Courtroom No. 5 - Remand Extensions

Judge: Shimon Leibo

Prosecutor: Nicole Pass? (The name was erroneously recorded by the court).

Details of Proceedings: The names were given to us by the Defense; there were no dockets posted outside the court. The interpreters said that there had been a list in the morning, but nobody bothered to print another copy.

The AC did not work most of the time, but even so, the noise was intolerable. Everyone talked at the same time; the prosecutor mumbled something to the Judge, so only when he repeated her statement for the typist, could we decipher what she had said. Due to these circumstances, we were unable to connect the name to the case, so I am not sure the reported cases actually correspond to the proceedings in court.

1. Case No. 3877/08

The short discussion focused on a problem relating to photocopying the file. The Defense is allowed to Xerox the content of the file, but since they had not received the file, they were unable to Xerox it. When they finally did get it, there was no time to Xerox, let alone to examine the material. Thus, the defense requested a few days' postponement to Xerox and examine the material.

The Prosecutor objected: This is the second postponement, but the Judge sided with the defense and allowed a 5-day deferment.

2. Case No. 2637/08 Mussa Melihat

Defense: Attorney Abir Mrar

A short discussion takes place concerning the validity of the case and its presentation in court. It turns out that the case was already processed and discussed in court, but the prosecution requests an "extraordinary procedure" to complete the investigation.

This is how the automatic system works:

The police and the prosecution request remand extension "to complete the investigation".

The defense claims that after the extension the detainee has not been interrogated, and thus there is no reason to keep him in custody. They can summon him from home at any time, if they want to further question him: this is why he is requested to post bail. The defendant is obligated to report to the police.

The prosecution always repeats the same arguments, the investigators always make the same demands; the investigations will never end. But sometimes the judges react differently:

The judge here says he has read the file. There are evidentiary grounds to charge the defendant, but the judge won't allow the prosecution to harass the defendant. No attempt has been made to complete the investigation, and the defendant can be summoned to court at any time. Thus the judge orders to release the suspect with a 5000-shekel bail, a guarantee by an additional person and some other conditions in case he does not report when summoned.

The prosecutor protests the ruling, invoking the ‘48-hour delay' rule, but the judge counters that this is an atypical case in that the suspect is not formally detained, since the indictment that led to his arrest has been deleted. The release is immediate.

3. Case No. 2835/08 Uda Abd El Aziz Daud and Saleb

Both are young, Saleb looks very young. Both live in the Bir Naballa enclave, which is surrounded by walls and fences, allowing exit only through checkpoints. [Details of this enclave can be found in Meron Rappoport's article in Haaretz on 21.7.07]

Both detaineesinfo-icon are accused of infringement of the "orders of enclosure," having exited through a breach in the wall, which constitutes "damage to a military installation".

20-year old Saleb is accused of an attempt to damage the wall, while "pretending" to own a permit.

His economic situation is dire; he may prefer a short jail term to a fine, however small.

One of the 2 detainees has a previous record, with similar charges, while the other has no previous violations. The verdict, agreed upon by both sides, is remand extension to coincide with time served in detention  (3 months and one month respectively. The court ordered a short parole, but for a relatively long period, so they "don't engage in any foolish acts again."