Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Barred (from meeting with attorney), Remand Extension
A regular day of remand extensions at the Russian Compound
Judge: Lieut. Col. Menahem Lieberman
Police investigator: Omri Awad
Defense: Judd Kadmani, Ma’amoun Heshim, Ismail Tawil
There were 7 cases in the docket, two were of detainees barred from seeing counsel; one hearing was about extending the prohibition beyond the legal limit.
The hearing room at the Russian Compound is the size of a holding cell. Today there were 16 people in the room: judge, typist, interpreter, investigator and attorneys. There were also 5 members of “Nachshon” Unit (that deals with transporting detainees to and from detention centers and from cells).
The judge sat at his podium, next to the typist at the keyboard. Against the wall, facing each other, were the investigator – with the interpreter - and the attorneys. We were on one side of the door and the detainee on the other. This is the usual arrangement.
But today it was different: Atty. Heshim sat next to the investigator, near the detainee’s bench, while the interpreter sat with the defense. Between them were 5 Nachshon officers guarding against any possible danger. The interpreter sat away from the detainee; he decided not to do any translation today and spoke with the attorneys and with the investigator. Atty. Heshim consulted Judd Kadmani who sat across the room from him.
The investigator was busy with his phone and the judge dictated his decisions to the computer. Between the chatter and the whispering we could not obtain any credible information on what was going on.
When we first entered, the attorneys were talking with the judge about extending the prohibition to meet counsel. The detainee has been ‘barred’ for 30 days (if we heard correctly) and an extension requires a judge’s consent.
The hearings were conducted in an “assembly line” fashion. From the judge’s mumbling I gathered that the detainee poses risk and thus an extension was warranted (beyond what the law prescribes).
Regarding 2 detainees there was agreement about the number of days of remand extension and about transferring the cases to the prosecution.
It was hot and stuffy in the room. The coming and going detainees did not interest anyone. We left the court frustrated, since we could not report properly about the remand cases.