Petah Tikva - Barred (from meeting with attorney), Holding and trading of combat materiel
The detention center is situated in a building within the Petah Tiqva Police Station complex. No one is transferred from one place to another. The court on the site deals only with remand extensions.
In most cases, the attorneys aren't hired by the detainees before the hearing. The Palestinian Authority' Public Defender's Office retains a number of lawyers; these attend the court sessions in order to represent detainees who don't have their own lawyers at the first remand hearing. This means that the remand hearing is often the first time that a specific detainee has any contact with a lawyer. Each detainee is asked if he agrees to be represented by one specific lawyer of those present in the room. The lawyer has a few minutes to talk with his client before the hearing begins. If the detainee's family hires another lawyer later (or, in rare cases, before the hearing), the PA's lawyer ends his involvement in the case.
At the hearing on 13.7.16 the presiding judge was Lt. Col. (סא"ל) Eliyahu Nimni; the police interrogator was Sader Nadir.
The two PA defense attorneys present were
Nassim Abu-Gosh and Raed Mahamid.
The majority of the 10 cases brought before the judge were charged with either threatening public safety or conspiring to commit a crime.
In 5 of the cases agreement was reached between the defense attorney and the Police Interrogator with lighting speed; hence, details of their cases will not be reported here.
Two of the detainees who were barred from meeting with their lawyer (or families, or observers). We, including the defense attorneys, were required to leave the courtroom when their cases were heard.
Islam Kamal Said Zbeidi – ID 853418945
After the detainee, who was barred from conferring with a lawyer, left the courtroom, his attorney, Raed Mahamid, was allowed to question the police interrogator, who had requested a remand extension of 18 days. Other than stating the date that the detainee was arrested, the investigator refused to provide any information about the arrest or charges, responding to all questions with "I can't provide details, it's classified". When asked by the defense attorney if the detainee was cooperating with his interrogators, the answer was "yes", on the basis of which the defense attorney requested that it be noted in the record that his prevention of a meeting with a lawyer was not warranted, and that the remand extension be reduced to only 9 days, after which his client would be allowed to meet with his lawyer.
The judge agreed to the request.
Shadi Ahmad Mahmoud al Masri – ID 920298106
This detainee was also barred from conferring with a lawyer and his family.
The requested extension of his detention was 8 days.
The questioning ritual is repeated: After the detainee is removed from the courtroom, the interrogator is asked a series of questions to which he responds with "I can't provide details, it's classified".
Atty. Mahamid contends that his client has complained about being ill (a problem with his eyes) and that he was not receiving adequate medical care in the detention center. Mahamid requests that his detention be shortened.
The judge agrees to requested remand extension but also requests that the detention center respond to the detainee's complaints and that, if necessary, he be taken for care outside the center.
The last 3 cases were "ordinary", i.e., the detainees could consult with a lawyer.
Salach Hajazi Shbeita – ID 402291819
Shbeita was arrested on 10.7.16. This is his first detention hearing. The interrogator requests a remand of 15 days.
After speaking with the detainee, his attorney, Raed Mahamid, objects to the length of the detention based on the fact that the detainee was cooperating and that the investigation could be completed quickly.
After reviewing the material, the judge decides that the detention is justified, but given the investigation schedule before him, the remand period would be shortened to 12 days.
Saadi Najah Sharif Safadi – ID 946648144
Safadi is suspected of manufacture and possession of a weapon. A lathe had been found on his property. The claim is that it was used to manufacture weapons.
The interrogator requests a remand of 12 days.
The detainee is middle-aged, and appears very worried.
His attorney, Nassim Abu-Gosh, ask if his client had been questioned about possession of a weapon; the answer is "yes". Q: Did he deny the charge? A: Yes. Q: Were others involved? A: Yes. Q: Had the evidence regarding accomplices been placed before the judge? A: Yes.
The judge asks if the detainee has a history of security offenses. Safadi answers "yes", he had been arrested when he was a minor, in 1988. He has done nothing since then.
Safadi now asks permission to speak directly to the judge. The judge agrees (based on the judge's body language, he does not appear impressed by the detainee's statement). As far as we can understand (the Hebrew translator spoke too softly when turning toward the judge and not in our direction; we therefore couldn't catch everything he said), the detainee claims that he inherited the lathe from his father and that his whole family, brothers and children, use it for their own purposes. It was never used to manufacture weapons. He states that he has 6 children and has been working for 30 years, and committed no offenses during the entire period. He states that he is sorry for everything that they think that something isn't in order, and that he takes personal responsibility for everything taken.
The judge decides that despite the detainee's statement being made allegedly with "all his heart" (the judge requested adding quotation marks to this term in the protocol), the situation warrants investigation of any danger, but agrees to a remand of only 8 days.
Ali Najah Sharif Safadi – ID 948599014
(the previous detainee's brother)
The detainee is suspected of possession of a firearm.
He was arrested on 11.7.16, with the weapon in his possession.
This is his first remand hearing.
Safadi is an officer in the PA's police force.
His attorney, Nassim Abu-Gosh, asks if the weapon is property of the PA. The interrogator responds: The investigation is in its early stages; his claim will be investigated. The other details concerning the case are open only to the judge.
After reviewing the material, the judge decides that the arrest is warranted given that this is his first remand hearing.
Hence, the requested remand of 12 days is approved.