Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Stone Throwing, Remand Extension
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Yair Lahan (Res.)
Police Investigator: Zayed Aktish
Defense: Firas Sabah, Judd Kadmani, Halil Zaher, Tariq Bargouth, Aamer Yasin
There are 7 cases in the docket, 3 are barred from seeing counsel.
Justice Lahan decided to hear the “barred” detainees first, then the other detainees. The attorneys and the investigators conferred and we were told to leave the court for the part when the “barred” detainees are examined by the judge without the attorneys present.
Since we were not familiar with the judge we presented him with the High Court of Justice document that recommends the presence of civilians in the hearings. The judge said, Sorry, I cannot allow you to be present. This HCJ decision is only a recommendation, and besides, the investigator – i.e., the state- objects. [In other words, Who am I, a mere judge to decide… the state does not allow].
We left disappointed.
Tawfiq Rafiq Tawfiq Harez – ID 914509237
Defense: Atty. Aamer Yasin
The detainee is not present. This is his fourth remand extension. Since his arrest he has been barred from meeting with an attorney.
Atty. Yasin is trying hard to get some info about the detainee, whom he has not met yet. But the investigator stubbornly refers him to the confidential file.
The investigator asks for 15 days extension (the 4th). During that time he is interrogated about membership in a proscribed organization and activity endangering security in the region. The rest of the information is in the confidential file.
Majed Azat Abdullah Zalhiya – ID 85020927
He is barred from seeing counsel, and is represented by Tariq Bargouth and Judd Kadmani.
The request is for a 15-day extension. This is the second remand extension. He was prohibited from seeing an attorney a few hours after his arrest.
The defense insists on small, but important details, such as: at what time was he arrested, where, and since when he is “barred”?
The charges are: activity endangering security in the region. Bargouth requests further details about the suspicions. The judge replies: “At this stage I won’t allow answers detailing the suspicions.”
From the defense’s questions we learn that the detainee’s wife was also summoned (the investigator refers to the secret file).
Q: Why was his wife summoned? Is this a form of pressure?
A: I can’t elaborate; we don’t use such methods (of pressure).
Q: Is he injured?
A: It is in the file.
Q: Is he suspected of a shooting incident?
A: I can’t elaborate.
Q: Is he cooperating?
A: He has linked himself to the incident.
Q: So why is he barred from seeing counsel?
A: I am not authorized to answer.
Q: Is there approval for “interrogation of necessity”?
A: I don’t know what that is.
“Interrogation of necessity” is one where beating and torture are used “as needed” to extract information. It requires approval by the authorities. As we see it, this is another name for “moderate physical pressure”.
On Sept. 6, 1999 The High Court of Justice ruled in several appeals against the State of Israel and the Shabak [GSS], forbidding the use of interrogation methods that involve abuse and torture. This was a turning point in the legal practices used by the Shabak in interrogating terror suspects. The HCJ ruled that the Shabak has no authority to use physical methods that are “unreasonable and unfair” and cause pain and suffering to the suspect. But at the same time, the HCJ stipulated that Shabak interrogators who did use excessive force and pressure will not be held criminally responsible if in retrospect it could be shown that it was done under “appropriate circumstances”.
In the years since this decision, instead of stopping the illegal torture, the Shabak introduced “interrogation of necessity”, a procedure which, in fact, gives interrogators a priori permission to use physical pressure and illegal methods that were disqualified in the HCJ decision.
In his summation, Atty. Bargouth asks the judge to use judicial review in his decision, after meeting with the detainee.
Louai Feisal Hassan Hashlamoun – ID 921663175
Barred from seeing counsel.
He was arrested on 21.11.15 and did not see an attorney until 24.11.
Defense: Atty. Firas Sabah.
The investigator requests 15-day extension.
Q: Give details of the suspicions.
A: I can’t.
Q: Was he interrogated about those suspicions?
A: Yes, he was interrogated by the Shabak several times. Not by the police. 8 times.
Q: In three days? Continuously?
A: I don’t know.
Q: How many hours each time? At night as well?
A: Mostly during the day.
Q: Are others implicated in the case?
A: It’s in the confidential file.
Q: Did he give a statement?
A: In the confidential file.
We left the court and the first detainee was led in.
Between the hearings of the first and second detainees, the judge arranged an agreement between the sides in the case of:
Ashraf Ruhi Sa’adi Halili – ID 859827818
Atty. Zaher asked to transfer Ashraf’s case to the prosecution at Ofer. He had been detained at the Russian Compound for 30 days, presumably on suspicion of throwing rocks.