Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Remand Extension, Health Problems

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Roni Hammermann, Tova Szeintuch (reporting)

Translation: Diana Rubanenko

Russian Compound 

Judge: Mr. Ami Navon

Police investigator: Mr. Afif Mahmoud

 Defence attorneys: no attorneys for the defence were present this morning


On arriving at the Russian Compound, we met Mamoun Hashim (the defence attorney). He said he had been summoned for 09:30 but by 10:10 the sessions had not yet started. At 11:00 he had to be in the District Court.

Justice Navon waited until 10:45, and since no representative from the ‘Prisoners’ Club’ had arrived, he began the proceedings with no defence attorney present.

At the start of each proceeding, he made a point of explaining the situation, and noted that the accused was entitled to appeal his decisions, which he described as “professional and thorough, relying on the confidential material submitted to me”.

The three detaineesinfo-icon were accused of the same charge, which was not stated. I asked Mr. Navon what the charge was, and he said that he was not sure he could reveal it to me, since it was extremely grave.

The atmosphere in the remand extension court was bleaker than on other days. The absence of the defence attorneys was tangible. Even though their questions are not always answered, they provide the feeling that someone is interested in the person sitting alone and isolated in a corner of the room. Today, the detainees seem more abandoned than ever.

Muhammad Haled Muhammad al Amori  I.D. 852759158

Detained on 29.11.11. This is his third remand extension. The police representative requested another 11 days.

The judge requested the interpreter to ask the detainee if he has anything to say in the matter.

The detainee comments: One day of investigation is enough.

The Judge: It is the court which decides how many days are needed. The police is requesting it.

The electricity fuses blew and the computer shut down. The judge requested a check of the fuses.

While we waited for the computer to resume, the detainee asked for permission to speak: I have been in detention for 21 days. I haven’t seen a lawyer nor a Red Cross representative. At the previous session I met a lawyer. In the first remand extension I was barred from meeting one.

The judge suggested he ask his family to retain an attorney, and added that he would instruct the detention centre to contact an attorney on behalf of the Prisoners’ Club.

The computer was now operational, and the judge continued writing his decision. He noted that he had been shown material supplying the background and details of the actions taken and on the state of the investigation, and also on planned actions.

He recommended that the detainee undergo medical tests (due to gastric problems), and that he be permitted to get in touch with a lawyer.

Taking into account what he had heard and read, the judge ordered another eight days for the investigation’s purposes.

Ahmed Rizik Mahmoud Issa, ID 851917732

The detainee had an arm in a plaster cast. The judge enquired about the reason for the fracture (investigation, soldiers??) no:  – a work accident.

He was detained on 5.12.11.

The police requested a 15-day remand extension for the investigation to continue.

The judge: Do you have anything to say about the number of days that the police has requested?

The detainee: I have nothing to say about the police decision. I gave a statement to the police this morning.

The investigator: A statement was taken. He does not link himself to the suspicions stated by the police against him.

The judge’s decision: This morning, the suspect  gave a first statement, which I have seen, as well as the confidential reports. Bearing this material in mind, I am extending his remand by a further 8 days.

The detainee asked permission to speak: I sat in the investigation chair for 4 days, I’m unwell, I was hospitalised with an ulcer. I have seen the doctor while I was detained. I need medication. I am asking not to sit for such long periods on a chair.  I am asking for treatment. I have a pain in the area of my ribs.

The judge summed up: The suspect is complaining about pain, and my impression is that the pain is genuine. I am instructing the detention centre authorities to perform medical tests, and for him to receive medication.

Mahmoud Hassan Naji Salah, ID 851917732

He was arrested on 29.11.11; this is his third extension of remand.  The police requests another 11 days.

The detainee said that he is being investigated for things he didn’t do.

The judge: I have the feeling that you are not collaborating. If you did so, you would already be out of detention. (He probably meant to say that they would have transferred his file to the Prosecution).

Detainee: I give them proper answers to what they ask me. I have no idea what they are investigating me for.

Judge:  They are asking you questions, but you are not telling the truth. You know it.

Detainee: I answer them. I have no idea about the affair they are investigating.

Judge + investigator: He cut himself (in a suicide attempt). He shouldn’t claim this is the result of the investigation…the detainee has a bandaged wrist. He is now under close surveillance so it won’t happen again.

The judge summed up that in view of the grave material he was shown, and taking into account the fact that this is the third extension, he is extending the detainee’s remand by another 4 days.