Ofer - Remand Extension, Health Problems

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Daphna Golan, Hagit Shlonsky (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Courtroom 7, 10:30

There are 55 cases on Justice Ostereicher's desk.

In the course of one hour, five detaineesinfo-icon were brought in. I did not catch their names or their case numbers. All five cases were deferred to a later date. One was to return here later in the day, when his attorney shows up and will move to add his name to 6 other detainees brought before the court.

The second detainee has no attorney; the judge allows him to make a phone call to hire one. When the detainee complains about health problems, the judge tells him to bring it up in the trial. "This is not a trial." Two other detainees are represented by Attorney Abu Omar, who requests and receives a deferment.

Attorney Abu Omar represents another detainee whom the prosecution wants in custody until the conclusion of the proceedings. The detainee complains that his interrogation ended two weeks ago, yet he is still kept in the Russian compound. The judge urges Abu Omar to cut a deal: "He admits he had a knife, he wielded a knife... He accepts the charges. Why don't you bring it to an end now?" Still, the judge agrees to a remand extension and sets a later date for the hearing.

At 11:20 5 detainees are brought in, and, upon Attorney Ahlam Hadad's insistence, a sixth joins them. They are jointly charged with activities in an illegal organization.

1. Ali Shehada Abed Alfatah  Jafar Aadi - Case No 2795/08.

ID No. 984233767.  Born in  1962, a resident of Beit Ummar. 

Detained since 14.8.08.

2. Raed Ahmed Kassem Abu Dia - Case No. 2797/08.

ID No. 851214171, Born in 1973, a resident of Beit Ummar.

Detained since 15.8.08.

3. Anis Mussah Hussein Abu Maria - Case No. 2789/08.

ID No.984219337. Born in 1959, resident of Beit Ummar.

Detained since 15.8.08.

4. Ibrahim Hassan Mansur Sabarna - Case No. 2793/08.

ID No.9374217869. Born in 1953, resident of Beit Ummar.

Detained since 15.8.08.

5. Hamza Zalah Hassni Turk - Case No. 2794/08.

ID No. 934217869. Born in 1983, resident of Beit Ummar.

Detained since 15.8.08.

6. Muhammad Ahmed Ismail Aadi - Case No. 9792/08.

ID No. 932950950. Born in 1958, resident of Beit Ummar.

Detained since 15.8.08.

Co-defendant in this trial is the Beit Ummar  Orphans Association

(Al-Biada district, Beit Ummar).

All six detainees held positions in the Orphans Association.

There are ten counts in the indictment. All 6 defendants are charged with bringing enemy money into the region; contact with the enemy; some are charged with membership and activity in an illegal organization (Hamas), with holding positions in Hamas's "Majlas Al-shura" in Beit Ummar; holding a position in Ussra (affiliated to Hamas) and offering services to Hamas (recruiting a member to the local chapter of Hamas).

Other charges against the Orphans Association are: illegally receiving money and funds from outside organizations without authaurization; maintaining contacts with outlawed organizations with ties to Hamas.

All six defendants deny the allegations.

The prosecution has 12 witnesses, among them statement-takers during the interrogations, and other detainees and released prisoners who incriminated the defendants.

The Defense claims that the association is legal, acting under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority and with the knowledge of the GSS.

The prosecution has no bank receipts of deposits, nor records of the money's provenance, nor proofs that the funds were earmarked for illegal activity. The Defense requests release on bail instead of detention.

The judge is impatient. He urges the defense to be brief and focus only on the endangerment clause. He has no interest in earlier verdicts. "I already know all of them." He states: "The question before us is: do the alleged facts constitute danger, which will result in detention until the conclusion of the proceedings."

"...After deliberation and reflection... in view of the incriminating evidence against defendants 1 and 6... However, this testimony was given two years ago, which renders the allegation obsolete..."

The judge orders the defendants released on bail:

Defendants 1 and 6 - 10,000 shekel, with third party guarantee of 20,000.

Defendants 2,3,4,5 - 6,000 shekels  with third party guarantee of 10, 000.

A bail check and arraignment will take place on 23.9 before Justice Lieberman.

The Prosecution requested a 72 hours postponement before the decision takes effect.

As far as we know, the Prosecution appealed the ruling, but we were unable to attend the hearing. We will follow up on the case.