Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Danger to Regional Security, Remand Extension

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Judith Sternberg, Roni Hammermann (reporting)


Russian Compound

Judge: Gal Rosenzweig

Police investigator: Jalal Awida

Defense lawyer: Fahmi Shkirat

Together with the first detainee, we waited about 30 minutes for the defense lawyer Leah Tsemel to arrive. When she did not come, the detainee was brought back to his cell.

At 10:45 Ahmed Rahman Abed, a very young man, entered the courtroom and Shkirat began to interview him. It turns out, that he is accused of Membership and Activity in an Unlawful Association and that his activity was connected to support of terror acts (whatever this might be). All the details are, of course, to be found in the secret file, which is open only to the judge. The police asks for 15 days of remand extension, but Shkirat wants to know why. He points out that Ahmed cooperates with the investigators and reminds the court that he has psychological problems. Ahmed himself tells the judge that he had confessed to "everything that I did". But Jalal explains that he cannot release him, because he is a danger to the public and the investigation is at its beginning only. Nevertheless he promised to call for medical assistance. The judge was convinced that there is still a lot of investigation to be done and extended the remand for 11 days.

The next detainee had a private lawyer, Bader Aghbariya, who did not show up, because he was at the same time busy in Hadera. Therefore, judge Rosenzweig took upon himself the role of the defense lawyer and asked the relevant questions. It turns out that the detainee has already been 32 days in remand, and the police wants18 more. The detainee himself asked to be released after so many days and said, that in the last 9 days nobody had talked to him. Jalal refused to release him on grounds that the detainee was a danger to the public. The judge, convinced by Jalal's statements rather than by his own capacity as "defense lawyer", declared that he extended the remand by 10 days only.

The next defendant was a client of Bader Aghbariya as well, and he too had to content himself today with the judge as "defense lawyer" .The detainee has already been 32 days in remand and argued that he had answered all the questions and that he did not understand what they wanted from him (the police asked for 18 days extension).

Judge Rosenzweig claimed that there were still a couple of questions to be clarified and extended the remand by 15 days.

We had a short but interesting shift at the Russian compound.