Ofer - Stone Throwing, Minors
Translation: Marganit W.
“I left home in Bethlehem early in the morning, and by the time I got here I had crossed five checkpoints! How can one live like this?
As always, being in the court involves talking to Palestinians.
One man told Aya in great detail how children are arrested and brought to the police station in Kiryat Arba. The smaller kids, under 15, are released only after their parents are summoned, and they have to pay between 1000 and 5000 shekels. Perhaps this is written down as bail, but they are not summoned to court. Children 15 and up are summoned to court.
In court we ran into the brother of Fida Suleiman from Beit Ur Tahta. Fida was arrested and convicted of throwing rocks on Rte. 443. She was imprisoned at Sharon Prison, at the same time that 3 of her brothers and a cousin were in jail.
Today was the hearing of one brother, and sitting with us was another brother who had been released after three years in prison. The present detainee is represented by Atty. Safiya, who was furious that the next hearings were scheduled to August. He told the judge that it was unconscionable that a suspect, charged with only throwing rocks had already been in jail since January.
But this is the general attitude here: what difference does a month make?
We got another lesson in the art of preparing indictments.
Judge: Lieut.-Colonel Zvi Heilbronn
Prosecutor: Lieut. Gali Katlan
Defense: Atty. Nery Ramati
Defendant: Ahmad Muhammad Abud Srur – ID 855025862
Our colleagues first met Muhammad Srur on 13.5.15 at a remand extension hearing at the Russian Compound. Then he claimed that the confession was extracted from him under harsh interrogation.
Atty. Ramati raised objections about a charge sheet that contains so many clauses. He cited the first charge that sometime from 2009 until his arrest the accused had thrown rocks at a tractor, but another clause claims that he also threw rocks since 2012 until his arrest, and also in the years 2011-14. Clauses 1-8 do not mention even one concrete date, thus there is no room for a claim of alibi.
Moreover, including so many charges allows the prosecution – in a case of plea bargain – to drop a few charges, thus seemingly meeting the defense half way.
In many cases of plea bargains we heard the phrase “Weak evidence” and vague expressions such “at that site or thereabout” and “at that date or thereabout.”
Atty. Ramati plans to ask for a mini-trial.
A memorandum hearing was set for 7.7.15.