Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Remand Extension, Barred (from meeting with attorney)

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Roni Hammermann, Tova Szeintuch (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Russian Compound

Judge: Shlomi Friedman

Police Interrogator: Itzik Yaakobof

Defense: Attorneys Fahmi Shkirat, Ayoub Saleh, Mahfuz Rami, Ma'amun Hashim

There are 9 cases in the docket; two of  the detaineesinfo-icon are barred from meeting with their attorneys.

Mr. Yaakobof asked us to leave the court because the first detainee is "barred". We asked the judge to reconsider, since there are precedents of judges allowing us to be present in court while the defense attorneys present their arguments. But Mr. Yaakobof takes exception to our request and informs the judge that there are other precedents when judges prevented us from staying in court while "barred" cases were being discussed.

The judge wants to know why Mr. Yaakcobof is so adamantly opposed to our presence, and the latter, visibly upset, replies angrily that MachsomWatch representatives "sabotage the investigation of ‘barred' detainees by posting the proceedings on the internet."

Justice Friedman's decision [my version, since he refused to give us the protocol and referred us to the offices of the Ofer Compound):

"I have no doubt that the presence of MW representatives is important, necessary and welcome. The legal system is bound by the law; we have nothing to hide; moreover, we are proud of the way our court cases are conducted. Thus, as long as an attorney is present in court, MW representatives should be present, as required by protocol. However, it must be clear, that as soon as the detainee's defense is required to leave the court because the detainee is prohibited to meet with an attorney, MW representatives must leave too, since this is the purpose of the prohibition order."

Mr. Yaakobof is displeased with the decision and decides to declare the material in the detainee's case as ‘confidential'. This is bound to vitiate the attorneys' (and the detainee's) case. The interrogator conducts some "secret" talks about us with the attorneys.

As mentioned earlier, the first two cases were of  "barred" detainees.

After the attorney's cross examination and the usual answers of the interrogator concerning the "confidential material", and after the examination of the detainee without his attorney's presence, no protocol was given to the defense, since the material was designated "confidential".  Thus, attorney Shkirat will not know if the judge did or did not grant the interrogator's motion for an 8- day remand extension. The attorney received only the part where the judge states that by law we are permitted to be present when remand extensions are discussed, but not the part with the attorney's questions and the interrogator's answers (I am sure that this applies to one case, but not sure if this applies to the protocol of the second "barred" detainee.)

The second detainee was represented by Ma'amun Hashim.

The police interrogator requested 20 additional days to conclude the investigation.