Ofer - Plea Bargain, Release on Bail
Translation: Marganit W.
“Happy End” for something that should never have happened
Judge: Major Kamal Zaharaldin
Attorney: Ihab Galid
Detainee: Majd Al Shaar, 18 years old.
The Prosecution presented a photo dated 21.7.17 showing Majd throwing a rock. He was 16 at the time. Today he is 18, a nursing student from the Arab-American university in Jenin.
Today the young man was brought to court for remand extension. Why was he detained? Why not?
Majd’s parents were in the court. The father told us that he is a construction worker and that his son’s education is very important to him.
The attorney moved for release on bail, but the prosecutor countered with the usual request: remand extension until the end of proceedings.
The charges are presented only now because the case involves sensitive information that required confidentiality.
(The risk is so great that the police raided his house at 1 AM to take him into custody).
The judge wondered why the security forces did not try to arrest the young man all this time, even though they had his picture.
The judge was not persuaded that Majd presented any risk, so he released him on 4000-shekel bail. However, he delayed the implementation for 24 hours.
All this happened at 12 o’clock.
Half an hour later Majd was brought in again, this time furnished with a plea bargain. It included 10 days jail time – to coincide with the detention - ten months suspended sentence for three years, and of course a 2000 shekel fine.
The attorney told us that Majd was scheduled to be released today.
So what was the point of all this? Why should Majd miss school and spend time in jail? Why should the poor father, who earns so little and invests so much in his son’s education, pay 2000 shekels?
We sat many hours in the Remand Extension Court: detainees were brought in in a conveyor belt system.
Family members were allowed in the court for a few minutes only. It was painful to watch an elderly couple from Nablus. Their son had already been detained for 9 days, and now they barely had time to exchange a few words with him before being taken out of the court.
The son’s hearing was rescheduled for next week. No doubt, next week, too, they’ll get up at the crack of dawn, come all the way from Nablus, so as not to miss the chance to have a few words with their son.