Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Shooting, Remand Extension

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Roni Hammermann, Hagit Shlonsky (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Remand Extensions at the Russian Compound

Judge: Barak Jordan

Police Investigator: Radi. (with occasional participation by Nissim Argaman).

This morning (roughly from 10:30 to12:30) 5 male detaineesinfo-icon and one female were brought in for remand extension. Two of them were "barred from meeting with an attorney." As usual, the police investigator demanded that we leave the court while the cases of "barred" detainees were being discussed, without the attorneys presence. The judge read the document we had handed him (written by Lieutenant-Colonel Benishu, following the preliminary High Court injunction submitted by MachsomWatch, arguing for the public's right to attend trials and the need for "in camerainfo-icon" hearings in cases where visitors are to be prevented from attending.)

The judge then asked the "barred" detainees, a male and a female, (as soon as they were ushered in WITHOUT their attorney) if they intended to say anything during the hearing. The judge apparently assumed that our presence [he wrote down our names in the protocol] would not endanger the investigation if the detainee did not talk. Thus, we stayed in court during the hearings of both theses "barred" detainees.

Ruan Hassan Abdullah Tuavta (female), ID 850886219, was brought in from the interrogation facility in Petach Tiqwa. We don't know how long she had to stand with her face to the wall outside the remand extension court waiting for her hearing. She was handcuffed and blindfolded. She looked about 18, wearing jeans and gym shoes.

She was represented by Atty. Firas Sabah, but was prevented from meeting with him.   While the defendant was NOT present in court, the attorney stated that she had been interrogated several times since her arrest (on 10.8.10?) on charges of ‘activity undermining state security'.

The police investigator requests a 15-day remand extension. Atty. Firas Sabah counters with a motion to release her or at least to shorten the remand extension.

The judge extends her detention  by 8 days, until 23.10.10.

Note that the judge allowed us to remain in court while the defendant was brought in and her attorney had left. The detainee told the judge that she had nothing to say at that point.

Nissim Argaman, a more senior investigator than the policeman in charge of the files today, objected to the judge's decision to allow us to stay. We were unable to hear the exchange between them, but it was clear that they did not see eye to eye in that matter.

Muhammad Al Farouk (details unknown).

He was arrested on 11.8.10.

He is barred from meeting his attorney Mamoun Hashim until 19.8.10.

Atty. Hashim posed many detailed questions to the investigator. The latter, however, replied mostly with "It's in the confidential file". Hashim appealed to the judge, but the judge regarded Hashim's questions as an irritation ["It's soon lunchtime, if you carry on like this, it will soon be suppertime," to which Hashim retorted: "I'm fasting" (it's Ramadan)]". Hashim objected to his client's detention, claiming that the charges are trumped up; there's no evidence supporting the charges against his client except the fact that he sat in a café in the village smoking a hookah on a certain day in May when a shooting incident occurred, which is under investigation, involving many suspects (some are detainees we had seen in court). Hashim maintains that the investigation involves an entire village, and is based on confidential material that is a tissue of lies. The judge urges him to finish, allowing him 5 minutes to ask questions that are not related to the investigation or its findings, which at this stage are still confidential.

The defense asks the court not to grant the investigator's request and to free the detainee.

The "barred" detainee is brought in, whereupon the attorney leaves the court. The judge asks the detainee if he has anything to say and the latter says no. We stay in court for the second act of the show. The judge dictates to the typist his decision to extend the remand by 11 days, stressing that a "barred" detainee's process requires extra judicial review.

Sahar Zubhi Ali Sehul, ID 913487070. He is the owner of a coffeehouse in a village (?) near Ramallah, in detention for 19 days, represented by Atty. Shkirat.

Apparently, he was detained on another charge and brought here as part of an elaborate investigation concerning several people accused of a shooting incident in May 2010.

The detainee asks to address the court and says, "I've been here for 19 days. I have said everything I had to say."

The judge extended his remand by 11 days.