Ofer - Plea Bargain, Stone Throwing
Translation: Marganit W.
Observers: Hagit Shlonsky, Nitza Aminov (reporting)
Judge: Major Meir Vigiser
Prosecutor: Captain Avishai Kaplan
Defense: Atty. Jamil Hatib
Defendant: Muataz Muhammad Faraj Taleb Aabido – ID 915130561
Muataz Aabido sits in court confined to a wheelchair. He was shot by the IDF.
The prosecutor moves to coalesce the two cases: the defendant will accept the charges, and the two sides will request more time to reach a plea bargain.
The defense concurs saying, “I explained the revised charge sheet to my client; he understands and accepts the charges.”
The court reads the revised charges and then SURPRISE!
[From the protocol] Defendant: The court read the revised version of the alleged charges. I understand them AND I DO NOT ACCEPT THE CHARGES!
The charges include participation in an Islamic Jihad rally and membership in that organization, attack on a soldier and conspiracy to commit terror attack. From October 2012 until his arrest, on being a member of Jihad, he also recruited members to the organization.
In Feb. 2012 he formed a military cell, recruiting three more members.
In Feb. 2013 he and several others solicited funds for this cell.
Muataz’s father asked to speak to me after the hearing. He told me: Muataz was in prison in 1998, then he was released. In 10.11.11 he was shot by soldiers in Hebron and was hospitalized in Hadassah Ein-Karem for three months. He uses a human waste collection bags, his leg is injured and he suffered several other injuries.
After three months, before the medical treatment was completed, he was transferred to Al-Ahali Hospital in Hebron. He repeatedly requested permits to go abroad for medical treatment, but all his requests were denied.
I think Muataz must be Superman if in his condition he was able to carry out what the prosecution alleges.
[From the protocol] The defendant: “You claim that I tried to solicit financial support. The GSS is tailing me all the time, so how is this possible? They could see whom I contact. This makes no sense. You must release me; I am sick. The Israelis shot me. A month before my arrest, the UN examined my medical condition and they asked Israel’s representatives to allow me to seek treatment abroad. The regional Human Rights representative told me to get a passport so I could go to Dubai where I could get medical treatment.”
The defense adds: My client denies all the allegations. There are no preliminary arguments, there is only an alibi: the defendant was in hospital in Beit Jala. The treatment there lasted the entire time mentioned in the indictment. [Like I said, he must be Superman].
Since the defendant denies the allegations, the case moves to evidentiary hearing on 26.8.13 for testimony by Bashir Zahda, Abdullah Abido and Hazem Altawil.
The defendant continues to tell the court that he is not receiving any medical attention in prison and that he cannot sleep at all. This part is translated. The defendant continues to talk, and the judge asks the interpreter what the defendant is saying. The answer: This is not important; he just continues to talk about his medical problems.
Hamza Muhammad Saadi Abu Maria – 854303823
Defense: Atty. Ahlam Haddad
Hamza is accused of membership and activity in an unlawful organization. In 2011, when he was a student at Al-Arub College, he was a member of Jama Altalabiya, which is affiliated with the Popular Front. For five years, since he was 17, Hamza was characterized by perverse behavior: throwing rocks at vehicles passing by Beit Ummar (2008-2009) and even throwing a Molotov cocktail. The agreement between the prosecution and the defense was reached because of the statute of limitation, the young age of the defendant when the violations were committed and, as in many cases, because of insufficient evidence (i.e., the prosecutor’s inability to adduce evidence).
The penalty, as per the agreement, includes 22 months in prison, 12 months probation for 5 years and 2000 shekel fine.
Taki Aladin Abed Alfatah Jamil Fahjan – ID 852863794
Defense: Atty. Ahlam Haddad
Taki is accused of manufacturing and throwing an incendiary object – a Molotov cocktail – in July 2012. He, too, started this activity at 17 when, together with others, he threw rocks at a watchtower at the entrance to Bet Ummar. Later on, he taught others how to make Molotov cocktails and he threw rocks at a moving car injuring a passenger.
The plea bargain reached between prosecution and defense stipulates 24 months in prison (Taki has a suspended sentence that is added to the penalty in the present case), 18 months probation for 5 years and a 2000 shekels fine.
Hagit and I were going to attend Hiba Badeer’s case. Hiba is a 26-year old mother of two from Duha, in Bethlehem area. She was arrested on the night of 2.4.13 and is kept as Sharon Prison. Shosh Kahn from “Women for Political Prisoners” came especially to attend Hiba’s hearing.
Hiba is defended by Atty. Ahlam Haddad.
The hearing was scheduled for this afternoon, but Hagit and I could not stay.
Shosh later told us that Hiba’s sentence is 4 months plus 20 days in prison, 5 years probation and 8000 shekels fine.