Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Holding and trading of combat materiel, Remand Extension

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Roni Hammermann, Hagit Shlonsky (reporting)


Translation: Diana Rubanenko

Russian Compound

Judge:  Dov Gilad

Police investigator: Oshri


This morning only one detainee was brought for extension of his remand.

He has been detained since 24.10.11 and was now brought before a judge for the first time. He maintains that he has been detained for eight days and was only taken out of his cell once, to complete the investigation.

The detainee Murad Jabari, 31, is a fruit and vegetable vendor, from Hebron.

He does not have an attorney. According to the judge, the police claim that his family was told that he was detained, but the family did not appoint an attorney for him.

The judge allows the detainee to speak at length, and ascribes his ‘generosity’ to the fact that the detainee has no defence attorney (we wonder whether the judge would be so warm-hearted if we weren’t present in court – would he have made excuses for the court minutes?). The detainee’s statement was translated patiently and meticulously by the interpreter, and recorded by the stenographer. We did not hear the police investigator at all, he may have spoken before we came into the courtroom.  He requested a remand extension of 8 days.


From the detainee’s statement, we learned that he is suspected, while trading in fruit and vegetables, of dealing in firearms - hand-grenades. He maintains that he has nothing to do with the charges, and is willing to help the investigators…that Israel is a law-abiding nation, and that he wants to be released before the upcoming holyday (Id al Adha) to be with his family. He relates that he was detained in the past and was finally released in 2003…for years he possessed a permit to enter Israel, even when closures were in force … criminals had got him into jail, for a secret case…


The judge’s decision: “After examining the investigation material..and reading the suspect’s  admission and that of another detainee… the suspicion is reasonable, and the investigation should continue for further 8 days - until 7.11.11.

The family must be contacted to arrange an attorney for him.”


Before he was removed from the court, the detainee asked to appear again before a judge on the coming Thursday (the usual day for remand extensions).

The judge says “I will not intervene in this”. We have heard this sentence for years in different contexts, from many judges who preside over courts of detention conducted in the military court in the detention centre. They have a defined and restricted role in a permanent ceremony, and it’s rare for any of them to try and direct events – or even to influence the process that’s determined by the detention-centre authorities. Most of the judges whom we encounter at the Russian Compound Court – though not all of them – make a point of refraining from taking any initiative.