Ofer - Release on Bail, Incriminators

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Hava Halevi, Hagit Shlonsky, Amira Ger

Translation: Diana Rubanenko

Courtroom 5

Judge: Shimon Leibo and an officer with the rank of captain who sat to one side and didn't intervene at all. He may be studying the profession.

This was a confusing day. Close to 30 cases were to be heard by the judge. The commotion in the courtroom made it almost impossible to hear the names and the arguments.

Anis Idris

Charge: attempt to violate the instruction concerning the closing of an area - which means entering Israel without a permit - forging an official document in order to enter Israel, and impersonating another. The man already had a suspended sentence which can be operated (meaning it was still in force). The prosecutor asked for detention until the end of procedures.

The defence attorney, Nasser Nubani, told the court about the economic hardship that the family is suffering, due to which the accused tried to enter Israel and seek work. He maintained that this offence does not cause danger (to the region), and so he asked to release the accused on bail until his trial.

The judge acceded to the request and released the young man on bail until the trial.

Rashad Mahmoud Mussa Abu Rahmeh, ID 852246496, from the village of Bil'in, aged 19.5

His parents were present in the courtroom.

He was arrested a short while ago, when he came for a summer holiday from Bosnia, where he's studying medicine. Attorney Nasser Nubani explained that the accused had not been in Israel since starting his studies (in September 2008), and was 13 or 14 at the time of the offences attributed to him - defined in the indictment as ‘membership and activity in and providing services for an unlawful association'. However, some of his friends incriminated him. He confirms that he knows them, but totally denies all the charges against him. He asked to be released until the trial.

In his ruling, the judge noted that although the offences were committed in 2005, his membership in the association is valid until now. The young man is to remain in jail, and the next hearing of his cas was scheduled for 1.7.09. The attorney told us that he intends to appeal the decision.

Mahdi Sufian Abed Alrahman Abu Hata

Although we had always known that the phenomenon exists, it was the first time that we saw a detainee who remains in detention because he cannot pay bail (or a fine). He should have been released a week before, on 16.6.09, but did not pay the amount of NIS 500. His attorney, Nasser Nubrani, did his part and achieved release on bail. But now the attorney can do nothing about the matter, and so he went on his way.

The judge heard about the situation and said tersely: ‘Solve the problem. It's not my concern'. Then he got up and left the courtroom.  The officer who had been sitting next to him left as well, and so did the police officers and security guards. The accused - who said that he simply doesn't have the money to pay, and whose father is unemployed  - was left in the courtroom. The stenographer, the interpreter and us remained and waited to see how the problem would be solved and what happen to the young man who was actually free to go, but his temporary freedom costs NIS 500 which he hasn't got. It's no concern of the judge, and nothing to do with the attorney. No representative of the family was present, it was getting late and he still sat on the dock.

Eventually the interpreter went in search of the judge on duty, who would decide what to do with the young man. We didn't wait. We are afraid that the administrative solution would be to leave him in detention, because he hadn't complied with the terms of his release.