Petah Tikva - Remand Extension, Minors
Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
Once again there is a new crew of wardens leading the detainees up and down the stairs with their hands handcuffed, their feet manacled, and their eyes covered with opaque glasses. Again I approach the guard who is leading a detainee and ask why they don't remove the glasses. The guard claims that he didn't see, that the detainee's glasses were raised, and that they remove all the detainees' eye coverings. He enters the courtroom and emerges with his commander Dudu Nissim who shouts at me to stop telling him how to do his job and to stop interfering with their work.
At 09:35 the second detainee is led out of the courtroom.
When I entered the courtroom I approached the judge, Major Eliahu Namani, and asked why the guards are not ordered to remove the detainees' eye coverings on the stairs, when both their hands and feet are manacled. How can people go down the stairs like that? A discussion took place with the warden, Dudu Nissim who claimed that the handcuffs are compulsory in order to protect themselves, and that the detainees are blindfolded so that they will not see the other detainees who are going up and down or being brought to trial (the "everything is hidden and confidential method"). The judge ordered them to remove the detainees' eye coverings on the stairs.
Throughout the hearings, detainees waited in line for their trial in the corridor with their eyes covered, facing the wall - God forbid, they should face the view visible through the open side of the corridor...
The first two detainees on trial were barred from meeting with an attorney. The attorneys were not yet present.
At 09:40 Attorney Aabed arrived, and Attorneys Samaan, Abu Wassel and Raed Mahamid arrived at 09:55.
Investigator Sergeant-Major Aatef Awida, a translator, and a typist are also present in the courtroom.
There are 9 suspects (3 from Kfar Ma'adma near Hebron), 3 of whom have been barred from meeting with an attorney.
The hearing regarding the two barred suspects was conducted after the hearings for the rest of the suspects. One of the barred suspects (the first hearing) could not come to the hearing today, because he was injured after his previous remand hearing, when the Special Patrol Unit vehicle in which he was being driven back to prison turned over.
The judge, Major Eliyahu Namani does not allow the investigator to run the proceedings as is usually done here, and demands that he provide answers for the attorneys and not refer them to the "secret" or "confidential" reports at every trivial question. The investigator protests, claiming that he is forbidden to disclose information in the middle of the investigation because it interferes with the investigation. The judge insists, and says that if an attorney asks about details that the detainee gave him, the detainee and the attorney already know about them anyway. The investigator asks the judge to record in the protocol that he compelled him to answer. The judge dictates to the protocol that "a tooth was extracted from the investigator's mouth." This ritual is repeated again and again throughout the hearings.
1. Barred detainee Farsan Jamil Ibrahim Bani Fadel, ID 910666940, from Akraba, arrested: 28.11.08
Request for remand extension: 8 days
This detainee was injured in the Special Patrol vehicle accident and "remained in his room to rest for 6 days according to doctors' recommendations." .
The detainee was barred from meeting with an attorney (for the second time) for 5 more days beginning from 13.12.08.
Attorney Aabed requests that a medical report on the suspect's medical condition be given to him. The investigator claims that the investigation has been delayed because of the injury.
Judge's ruling: Extended remand for 8 days.
2. Mahmud Mahfuz Daud, ID 909846628 from Qalqilya, arrested on 10.12.08
Request for remand extension: 15 days
Attorney Raed Mahamid asks the investigator if it is correct that a knife was found in the detainee's car.
The investigator refers to the confidential report. The judge asks the investigator why he does not answer, since both the examinee and his attorney already know the answer, and he must answer yes or no or link himself. The investigator insists that this interferes with the investigation etc. and the judge asks if a well-known soccer player (whose name I don't remember) was caught with the suspect in his car. The investigator answers that he does not know.
An argument begins once again between him and the attorney and the judge orders him to answer. The investigator answers: "I don't know if he's a soccer player, a basketball player, or something else."
Judge's ruling: Extended remand for 12 days.
3. Rami Mohammed Sodek Nader, ID 905160941 from Ma'adma, Arrested on 11.12.08.
Request for remand extension: 22 days
Attorney Sammer Sama'an: The suspect was arrested and released and arrested again. Is this connected with his previous arrest?
Investigator: Can't answer.
Judge: This is his first remand extension.
Investigator: I don't know if he was arrested previously.
The defense asks if this is connected to the previous arrest, because it is an important point in his line of defense. He claims that the detainee says that he is questioned all the time as to whether he was connected to some organisation or another, and no new [questions are asked], and he already answered that [question] during his previous arrest. The suspect is a teacher and is not a young boy.
Judge's ruling: Extended remand for 15 days.
4. Abed Al Rahim Juad Arr, ID 850487240 from Zuwata, Arrested on 27.11.08
Request for Remand extension: 16 days.
Judge's ruling: The sides agree upon extended remand for 13 days.
5. Shahid Ghassan Abed al Karim Ziada, ID 850459041 from Ma'adma. Arrested on 10.12.08
Request for remand extension: 15 days.
Attorney: Raed Mahamid.
Judge's ruling: Extended remand for 9 days.
6. Abada Mohammed Otman Dar-Mahmoud, ID 853201986 from Zuwata. Arrested: 3.11.08
Request for remand extension: 10 days.
Attorney Abu Wassel: The detainee is still a minor. He turned 18 only a month ago in October. He is willing to agree with the investigator about remand for 8 days, if his case will then be transferred to the military prosecution or if he will be released at the end of that period, because there is nothing against him. He has not been questioned for 30 days aside from a statement that he gave the police. The suspect is accused of having put up pictures of candidates with others during the elections in the Palestinian Authority two years ago. The suspect is a Jordanian citizen. His parents came from Jordan to Salem, where the suspect has been residing recently, and they are awaiting his trial in Salem [Military Court]. No one informed them or to the attorney, that the trial was going to take place in Petah Tikva today. The attorney happened to be in Petah Tikva today and heard that the trial was taking place.
A representative from his office is now in [Military Court] Salem, in order to defend him. He complained that the attorneys are not notified regarding where detainees' trials are held and that it is difficult for them to receive information.
Judge's ruling: extended remand for 7 days.
7. Shadi Shafik Mahmoud Odeh, ID 936545544 from Huwwara, arrested 5.11.08
Request for remand extension: 16 days
Attorney Raed Mahamid
Judge's ruling: The sides agreed to extended remand for 13 days.
8. Barred detainee Omar Jamal Faras Ma'adma, ID 948179445 from Akraba, arrested on 30.11.08.
Request for remand extension: 8 days.
The detainee has been barred from meeting with an attorney for 4 additional days from 15.12.08.
The judge orders the typist to tell Attorney Raed Mahamid what the suspect said to the judge: "I feel good, and I have nothing to say."
This is the detainee's third remand extension, and he has been barred from meeting with an attorney since his arrest.
Judge's ruling: extended remand for only 6 days because he has been barred from meeting with an attorney throughout the entire period.
9. Barred detainee: Sudki Hassin Sudki Dib, ID 904655859 from Ma'adma. Arrested on 11.12.08
Request for remand extension: 15 days
The detainee has been barred from meeting with an attorney for 4 days from 15.12.08.
Attorney Sammer Sama'an complains to the judge and asks that it be listed in the protocol that it is difficult to find where the suspect he is defending is being detained: attorneys have to wait for hours until they are allowed to meet with their clients; orders prohibiting detainees from meeting with attorneys are issued precisely when they [the attorneys] arrive to meet with them, or the detainees are moved to a different detention center without it being reported to them.
Judge's ruling: Since the suspect has been barred from meeting with an attorney, his remand extension is shortened to only 12 days.