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

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Roni Hammermann, Tova Szeintuch (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W. 

Russian Compound

Judge: Kobi Suderi

Police Investigator: Jilal Awide

Defense: Attorney Fahmi Shkirat, Awad, Firas Sabah, Ma'amoun Hashin, Leah Tsemel

There are 7 cases in the docket - 2 are barred from meeting with attorney.

We watched 3 remand extension hearings.

1 - A "barred" detainee, represented by Attorney Firas Sabah.

Before the detainee was admitted, and after the defense had presented its case, the investigator Awida ordered us to leave the court. The judge, however, said he had no objection to our presence at the remand hearing. He invoked the principal of transparency and of a public trial.

In view of the judge's decision, the investigator moved to ban publication of the entire discussion.

2 - Attorney Awad represents the detainee. This is the first time Mr. Awad represents this detainee, even though it is the detainee's third remand extension.

The detainee is charged with endangering security in the region. He has been in detention since 23.6.09.

The Police Investigator requests 15 days remand extension to complete the investigation.

Q - Has the detainee admitted the charges against him?

A - There is a discrepancy between his admission and the charges.

Q - Did the detainee tell you that he suffers from claustrophobia and fears for his life?

A - I am not aware that he complained about it.

Q - Why do you need another 15 days of investigation?

From this point on, all the answers refer to the confidential file.

In his summation, the defense states that the detainee confided to him that in order to avoid solitary confinement during the investigation, he was willing to confess to anything. Attorney Awad says that if there is basis for transferring the file to the prosecution, it should be done.

The judge's decision: having examined the confidential file, he finds grounds to press charges against the detainee. However, he limits the investigation to 8 days.

As for the detainee's mental health, the judge orders the investigator and the prison commander to conduct medical exams to verify the complaints. The judge wonders why the attorney, who knew about it, did not raise questions...

3 - Barred detainee, represented by Mamoun Hashin

The detainee is suspected of endangering security in the region and of terrorism.

He is has been detained since 14.7.09.

Remand extension requested for 15 days.

While Attorney Hashim questioned the investigator, Attorney Leah Tzemel came in and said she had been asked by the detainee's family to represent him.

Justice Kobi Suderi wants to know if the detainee knows that she represents him, or does he think Hashin represents him. He decides to call in the detainee so he can decide who should defend him.

The attorneys leave and the detainee enters. He speaks Hebrew. When asked whom he does choose, he says, Leah Tsemel.

The attorneys come in and the hearing continues. Attorney Tzemel says that both attorneys will represent the detainee.

Tzemel focuses on two questions: After the detainee was twice barred from seeing his attorney, has the investigation yielded any results? And has he met with the ‘police plants'?

At this stage everything is part of the secret confidential file. It transpires that there are 9 more issues to be handled concerning the allegations against the detainee. When those are settled, it will be decided what the accusations will be.

In summation, Leah Tsemel states that her client (owner of a blue ID card) has been detained for a week in solitary confinement, and still the investigation has not yielded any results. In addition, the detention order is not valid. The officer wrote down that a "West Bank" investigation is mandated (as if the accused is a resident of the Occupied Territories). " I don't see why he should be investigated," she said. "As soon as a man is barred from seeing his attorney, the court is his only contact with the outside world and serves as his guardian. Four-day extension should be the maximum..."

The judge's decision: 11 days remand extension.