Ofer - Knives, Membership/activity in unauthorized association
Translation: Marganit W.
In the roster we received there were 6 men accused of attempted murder. This is a severe charge, but we are not sure how this charge was determined, since there had been no evidentiary trial. Most hearings were of the “memorandum” variety. This definition can be seen as an attempt by the military prosecution to attach a priori a high level of severity to the charges.
No wonder the defense in Azhar’s trial is trying to change the definition in the indictment.
Azhar (we have her full name)
Charge: Attempted murder
Defense: Atty. Muhannad Harez
Azhar, 20, is a single woman from Jenin. She is small in stature. Two of her sisters attended the hearing.
Her story is typical of many women in the occupied territories who are constrained and controlled by their families. The details of the case were supplied by our colleague Nitza Aminov, who is familiar with the case.
Azhar had a romantic liaison with a man and had already run from home once before. Rumors began to spread and she feared for her life. Mostly, she was afraid of her father (although the sisters told me that her parents had visited her in Damoun Prison.)
Like other Palestinian women we have seen in the courts, she sought refuge in an Israeli prison. Thus, she grabbed a knife and went to Zaatra Checkpoint. But because it was the holiday of Shavuot, there were no soldiers or settlers there. So she made her way to Qalandiya Checkpoint. When she saw a soldier, she got frightened and dropped the knife, and now she is accused of attempted murder.
Her attorney is trying to change the charge to “attempted stabbing”.
The next hearing is set for 26.11.19.
Ahmad Ramzi Nimer Sider– ID 852116920
Accused of membership and activity (in an unlawful organization).
Defense: Atty. Abu Snina and Gaby Laski (who was not present).
Ahmad is a 28-year old doctor. His mother lives in Jericho. Ahmad studied in Egypt and did residency in Turkey. When he came back he was accused of membership in a military unit.
His brother, a journalist, is accused of the same violation (we did not see the brother).
During the hearing we encountered the term “certificate of confidence” which puts the interests of the state ahead of that of the accused. It is another hindrance the state imposes on the principle of transparency and the rights of the accused.
Here is a definition from Wikipidia
“Privilege for the benefit of the state”:
In some cases the state wishes to conceal evidence from the court, for fear of harming security or international relations, or for public reasons (so as not to expose its methods or its sources). Sometimes the evidence may aid an accused in proving his/her innocence. In such cases, the state issues a certificate of confidence, signed by the prime minister (when there is fear of harm to security or international relations) or by the relevant minister.
This law is anchored in the Evidence Ordnance of 1971. In these cases, the accused may request to override the state’s privilege and expose the evidence. When it involves security or international relations, the accused has to petition to the Supreme Court. When the public safety is involved, the accused has to address his request to the court where the case is tried.
Having read these definitions, it seems to me that in Ahmad Sider’s case, the certificate issued against publishing the evidence is merely another step on the way to an administrative detention.
Atty. Laski could not give me more information because of the “certificate of confidence” that forbids publishing the details of Ahmad Sider’s case.