Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Remand Extension, Students
Translation: Marganit W.
We were told that the hearings would start at 10 PM. When we arrived it turned out that “Yehuda wasn’t there” today. Yehuda is a “brand name”. We were told several times by the guard at the entrance that “Yehuda wasn’t here today,” so we had to wait 35 minutes for the office to issue a permit for us to enter the detention center.
Judge: Lieut.-Col. Menahem Lieberman
Police investigator: Rabia
Defense: Maamoun Hashim, Judd Kadmani
When we finally made it to the courtroom, we had missed the hearing in the case of
Muhammad Halil Ajram Abu Julia – ID 942963772
After a plea bargain the case was transferred to the prosecution.
Then the detainee (barred from meeting with attorney) Muhammad Tarek Abed Latif – ID 401471982was brought in blindfolded and hand shackled. The attorneys and ourselves had to wait outside. After a few minutes the detainee was brought out again.
Then Rami Hussam Hassan Baraje – ID 401379978 - was brought into court, led by 3 GSS men. Present in the court were three investigators, two attorneys and an interpreter. The small room was overcrowded.
The suspect was arrested at dawn today. Atty. Hashim, who first met his client in court, conferred with him. Having heard his client’s version, he asked the investigator why the man had been arrested.
Investigator: membership and activity in a proscribed organization.
Atty.: Is there a specific charge? A specific organization?
No definite answer was given.
Atty.: How long did the alleged activity last?
Investigator: two years.
Atty.: So why detain him now?
The investigator examines his papers. “The activity span over 2 years. It did not start two years ago” [Not a satisfactory answer to the question – MM]
Atty.: What is the charge? There were no known events in his village. Apart from the charge of membership, are there any incriminations by others?
Investigator: A person can act outside his village. [A dialogue of the deaf].
Atty.: Have you prepared a case against my client in these 2 years?
Investigator: The grounds for detention are related to the investigation. [??? MM]
Atty.: Perhaps he was not detained until now because the suspicions are not serious.
Investigator: It was not my decision. [Shouldn’t the investigator be informed about decisions in cases he pleads in court? MM]
Here the judge intervenes. He wants to know why the investigator does not answer.
The information reached us only in the last few days.
Atty.: What is the source of the info?
The judge and the investigator consult the file. “Clause 4.2.” The judge comments that it is hard to follow the clauses precisely. [??? MM]
Atty.: How many procedures are you planning to follow?
I think he said 4 but I am not sure.
The attorney describes his client as an 18-year student from Al-Quds University and adds, “the police representative’s answers indicate that there are no recent activities or suspicions. His arrest today seems groundless and based on unknown sources who may or may not be in the police or GSS hands. Thus, the defense sees no reason for remand extension. Even though it is a first remand request, the court has authority to release him on bail.” The detainee is willing to post bail to ensure his reporting to the police. Alternatively, if remand is ordered, it should be for a very short time.
Atty. Judd Kadmani interjects that there is no ground for detention since there is no risk.
Judge’s decision: “The suspect was arrested at dawn and was brought to court for remand extension. The investigator detailed the suspect’s acts and the suspicions against him. Since he was arrested this morning, he has not yet been interrogated, and we don’t have his response. The suspicions are serious and constitute risk, despite the defense’s allegations. The information leading to his arrest surfaced only recently [The judge sees nothing wrong in this]. Some of the material is open and the police should have presented it to the court, so the judge could form an opinion. Bear in mind that the material was presented on 23.12.14, so this is clearly a mistake. Since the material was not included in the file, it is not clear when it was really submitted. It is clear that the material was submitted at the end of 2014 not before. This shows why the investigators must attach all relevant materials at the time of arrest. As for the motion to detain the suspect, I am convinced that there are grounds to grant the request and that he should not be released under any conditions, since he was arrested today before the file could be presented to the court.”
Decision: remand extension for 11 days. [I am confused: if the file has not been submitted, how can they claim that the charges are serious and the man dangerous?]
The fourth detainee: Mussa Mafla Zaleh Abu Kiad – ID 554439779
He is currently at the Magistrate court and it not clear when he can get here, so the judge decides not to wait.