Petah Tikva - Release on Bail, Remand Extension

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Ada Heilbronn (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Next week the hearings will take place on Monday, 8.9.08 because of a Druze holiday

(most investigators and interpreters are Druze).

Judge: Major Eliyahu Nimni

Investigator: Sgt. Major Aataf Awida

Defense: Attorneys Abed, Mahajna and Abu-Jalal (who came in at 10:35 and left at 10:55)

A typist, an interpreter and two military policemen were sitting in the back, visibly bored to tears.

12 detaineesinfo-icon in the docket, 2 are barred form meeting their attorney.

For the last month, sessions have been starting at 9:30. When I arrived, at 10, the third case was being heard.

The judge checked that the investigator's request for remand extension is indeed warranted. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that a suspect is released. The suspect, Ali Mahmud Ali Shafai  is in his late thirties. He is a Palestinian residing in Israel, married to an Arab Israeli citizen. They both live in Lydda (even though the remand form says he resides in Nablus).

The accused is suspected of having committed murder in the territories, and so he cannot go back there. He is accused of possessing and transferring explosive material to the territories, together with his two brothers. The accused claims that he has turned himself in to the Petah Tikva police. The investigator claims that he was summoned to the police station, and was arrested upon arrival. The accused speaks fluent Hebrew and displays self-confidence rarely seen in Palestinian detainees. He even gets into arguments with the judge, and the latter allows him to speak his mind. The investigator claims that another attorney was supposed to represent him here and also in the murder case, but that attorney did not show up and did not answer phone calls. The judge suggests that Attorney Mahajna defend him, and the latter agrees, but the accused interjects saying the attorney does not know anything about his case because they have not had time to confer. The judge allows him to talk with the lawyer in the court. The only two incriminators in this case are the defendant's brothers. The investigator wanted to combine this trial with that of the brothers (to get a stiffer penalty), but it did not work out, and so Accused No. 9 and Accused No. 10 in today's trial were tried separately.

1. Abed Al Fatah Dib Abed Al Fatah Mashaiah - ID. No. 969852854 from Nablus. Arrested on 17.8.08

Remand request - 22 days.

The defendant is in his late 50s, older than most detainees. He was arrested for possessing $2000. It is claimed that the money was going to be transferred to Hamas. The defendant says this is money he took with him to Saudi Arabia for the Omrah ceremony, where he planned to buy things for his house (which eventually he did not do, because prices were too high).

Attorney Abed tries to verify the allegations, but, as usual, he is referred to the secret document.

Judge's decision: Remand extension for 6 days. (After questioning the investigator repeatedly, to clarify the allegations.) This hearing lasted 20  minutes.

2. Yusef Mahmud Muhammad Albaz, ID No. 905016010, from Qalqiliya . Arrested on 29.7.08

Remand request: 15 days.

Attorney Mahajna

Decision: By agreement with the investigator, remand extension for 8 days.

3. barred detainee: Kamal Falah Dababsa, ID .No 949299234, from Nablus.

Arrested on 29.7.08

Remand request: 8 days

Barred from meeting an attorney for 5 days until 5.9.08

Attorney Mahjna

Decision: Remand extension for 8 days.

4. barred detainee: Wahid Yihiya Wahid Abd El Jabar - ID No. 851994947, from Der el-Alhata, Nablus. Arrested on 27.8.08.

Remand request: 15 days

Barred from meeting an attorney for 3 days from 2.9.08

Attorney Mahjna

Decision: Remand extension for 15 days.

5. Rassem Suleiman Abdalla Awad, from Awartha. Arrested on: 5.8.08

Remand request: 8 days.

Attorney Abed: The defendant complains that for the last few days he has been interrogated 20 hours a day, and he is sleep deprived. He is tired, confused, doesn't understand what people are saying to him.

Decision: Remand extension for 8 days.

6. Muhammad Muhammad Yusef Haj, ID No. 852553668, from Bira. Arrested: 20.8.08.

Remand request: 16 days.

The defendant is tall, lanky, almost anorectic. His eyes dart in all directions, he doesn't listen to the interpreter and seems to be somewhere else. He is accused of complicity in a transfer of explosives. He has given a statement to the police, and his case will soon go to the prosecution. This involves some technical procedures and may take time.

Decision: In his interrogation, the defendant admitted to grave offenses. Remand extension for 13 days.

7. Ali Mahmud Ali Shafai, ID. No.394258187, from Lydda (Nablus, according to the remand form). Arrested on 21.8.08.

Remand request: 16 days.

Decision: It is not clear that the file contains sufficient grounds for indictment. To be released under restricted conditions: A. House arrest at his apartment in Lydda for 16 days. B. 20,000 shekels bail guaranteed by an Israeli third party. C. 10,000 shekel in cash as collateral. (the detainee asks to be allowed to draw money from his bank account.

The judge accedes and orders to accompany the defendant to the bank during business hours.)

The investigator wants to appeal the ruling, so the judge extends the detention by 72 hours (ending on Saturday, which means it automatically ends on Sunday) to appeal the release.

The hearing lasted 25 minutes.

8.Amad Zalah Abed El Latif Darwish, ID. No. 850404872, from Nablus.

Arrrested on 14.8.08.

Remand request: 16 days.

Attorney Mahajna:

Decision: Remand extension for 13 days.

9. Ismail Mahmud Ali Shafi, ID No. 901227470, from Nur Shams refugee camp.

Arrested on 21.8.08.

Remand request: 16 days

This defendant, too, looks older than most detainees. He is the brother of Defendant 7.

Attorney Mahajna

Decision: Remand extension for 13 days.

10. Omar Mahmud Ali Shafi, ID. No.906161377 from Nur Shams refugee camp.

Arrested on 25.8.08.

Remand request: 16 days.

The investigator reports that the accused tried to set himself on fire by burning his mattress.

He stole weapons from soldiers, twice.

Attorney Mahajna:

Decision: Remand extension for 13 days.

11. Muaned Nizar Ahmed Ghanem , ID No. 942272238, from Nablus. Arrested on 14.8.08.

Remand request: 16 days.

Attorney Mahajna

Decision: Remand extension 13 days.

I was unable to record one of the cases, as the defense, Attorney Abed, left in a hurry with the documents.