Ofer - Release on Bail, Holding and trading of combat materiel
Translation: Marganit W.
Trials resume in several courtrooms and at 2 PM we decide to attend the procedures in room 7.
Judge: Meir Ostreicher
11 cases were processed in two hours. The defense requested deferment of 9 trials to study the cases (or in 2 cases, due to the attorney's absence). Within 2-3 minutes seven remand extensions were granted for 4-8 days.
Jaber Jaffry (?) 1933/02.
The charge: illegal entry into Israel, plus an old charge of forging an entry permit (though without entry).
The judge hectored Attorney Othman: "You better reach an agreement with the prosecution now... " The defense attorney tried to argue, but he was ill prepared and did not have the right references to claim that the charges had no merit. The case was deferred to 6.3.08.
Another case, of defendant Abdel Jamil Kaadan, represented by Attorney El Araj, was deemed a "serious indictment" and was scheduled for court appearance on 16.4.08.
Remand extension set for more than 6 weeks.
In two cases a procedure took place and the judge accepted the defense's position. It went as follows:
Case No. 1424/08. We did not catch the name of the accused.
In the past (case No. 2811/05), the accused was arrested and convicted for membership in "Kutla Islamiya", the Hamas students' organization. While he was in jail, his family kept 6 Hamas flags and a tape of a lecture related to "Kutla Islamiya" in drawers in his room. The prosecution claims that incriminating material was found under his bed. The accused denies all these allegations: he does not live at home and he refutes any connection between him or his family with Hamas. He admits only that he is a student at the Polytechnic.
The judge is impatient and would not let the defense present its arguments. He proclaims his ruling: there is no proof that the material under the bed is the defendant's. We need to wait for the prosecution to prove its case. " I see no danger here... He can be released on bail, which is set at 3000 shekels. If no bail is posted, he'll be remanded in custody until the conclusion of the proceedings. The next court court session is set for arraignment on 31.3.08 before Justice Keydar. At the prosecutor's request, the defendant's release was delayed until 2 AM on Sunday so an appeal could be lodged.
Jumaa Muhammad Odeh Halayika- ID No. 967566894 from Shayouh. Arrested on 23.1.08
Defense attorney: Haled El-Araj.
This is a continuation of the case involving fertilizers that can also be used for explosives. Jumaa bought the potassium nitrate and other fertilizers from an Israeli merchant. The defense presents signed receipts as evidence. If the deal had been illegal, he would not have signed the receipts and certainly would not have kept them. Jumaa's father, who is present, tells the court that his son took loans to pay for the fertilizers - 105,000 shekels. The name and address of the seller are known (to us too) but as in the previous case (Cf. Ofer report, 13.2.08) the police did not bother to look for him. One of the customers who bought the fertilizer (which looks like sugar) transferred the chemical into sugar bags and tried to smuggle them into Gaza, but was caught at the checkpoint.
The judge sides with the defense, against the prosecutor's position, and sentences the defendant
to 3 months and a day in jail (from his day of arrest), plus 10,000 shekel fine and 3 years probation.
The defendant's father tells us, that he cannot pay such a sum, not to mention that he has to repay
the loan of NIS 105,000 (but this, of course, is no concern of the court, which deals only with security
and not with commerce between Jews and Arabs).
The judge adds that charges should be brought against the Jewish merchant who sold the fertilizer
(Yakob Saluky from Moshav Givati).... The prosecution should be notified and urged to take action...
"so that our conscience would be clear" - thus spoke the conscientious judge.