Ofer - Stone Throwing, Remand Extension
Translation: Marganit W.
There are 57 detainees for remand extension in the docket.
The cases are divided between Courtrooms 5 and 7.
Justice Major Avraham Einhorn – black yarmulka, English accent. We have never seen him before. When we entered the court and tried to get the judge’s name, nobody could tell us. An interpreter (who was not translating at the moment) tried to find out, and first told us that the judge didn’t want to reveal his name. A few minutes later the interpreter came back with a tag bearing the judge’s name. He asked gingerly, “Are you going to publish his name on the Internet? My name too? So they’ll murder him…?” We responded by asking if he didn’t think a military judge is a respectable position deserving to be publicized. He said, “By us, yes, but not on the other side.”
There are four defendants in the dock:
two brothers from Beit Ummar, represented by Atty. Abed Alnasser Nubani.
No family member is present in the court.
The third defendant is 18 years old. His mother is present, but we did not attend his hearing and could not follow up his case.
The fourth had no attorney and a later date was set for his hearing.
Despite the usual commotion in this courtroom, Atty. Nubani reiterated patiently the defense’s arguments.
All three defendants are accused of throwing rocks at vehicles.
Novani asks to release Yasir Faiz Ahmed, age 17, on bail until his hearing.
1. Citing a precedent of a similar violation by Saed Said, who was released.
2. The defendant is very young.
3. He threw a rock from a great distance (the attorney calculated the distance by the chance of hitting the target), and since there was no chance of hitting from that distance, it follows that the defendant did not intend to hit.
4. These are two brothers, and the family is in a difficult emotional state. (“a miserable family” said the mother of the third boy from Beit Ummar who was present in court).
Nubani continues to argue for the younger brother, Fayad Faiz Ahmad, age 14, saying that a child his age should not be in jail. In addition, he has a broken arm in a cast.
The prosecutor points out that the broken arm did not prevent him from throwing rocks. The judge rejects the defense’s arguments, saying that the boys committed dangerous acts and must therefore be in detention until the conclusion of the proceedings. He does, however, agree with the defense that such boys do not belong in jail; they should be playing soccer or basketball, not throw rocks.
The next hearing is set for 14.2.11.
Judge: Major Zvi Heilbronn
This is the trial of two defendants released on bail who are present in court.
Adeeb Farid Samur Abid,ID 410627780-Case No. 1983/09
Faiz Hassan Muhammad Harfush,ID 973105950 -Case No. 1989/09
Both are from Nabi Salah
Defense: Atty. Nery Ramati
Two witnesses who have incriminated the defendants testify today.
Witness Muataz Harfush, age 18, was 16 when he was arrested and interrogated. He was sentenced to 26 months for throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.
After responding to several questions from the prosecutor – in which Muataz contradicted his testimony at the police interrogation – he is declared a hostile witness. He said he had confessed to throwing stones and Molotov cocktails on the advice of his attorney. He denied incriminating the defendants, explaining that at the interrogation he was asked if he knew those people and replied that they were fellow villagers. But he did not incriminate them. He further testified that at the end of the interrogation he was made to sign a document in Hebrew, not the document in Arabic presented to him in court and bearing his signature (finger prints).
In cross-examination he continued to contradict what is in his statement to the police. His answers to Atty. Ramati explain the circumstances of this case: he was arrested at home between 2 and 3 AM and brought somewhere where he had to wait, manacled and blindfolded, for many hours. The police interrogation (the only one he was submitted to) lasted hours. Note that in an answer to Atty. Ramati’s question, the boy said that he had not been beaten by the policeman, nor was he afraid of him.
The second witness in this hearing was Faraj Mahmud Zaharan Harfush, aged 18.5.
He too is in prison convicted of throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails. Like the previous witness, he rejects what his statement to the police says: “I didn’t do anything… I didn’t incriminate anybody… I signed because the interrogator told me to sign what he had written…etc.”
He, too, is declared a hostile witness.
In Cross-examination, he claims he does not remember the interrogation. He was young and did not know the people he is alleged to have incriminated. Like the previous witness, he was arrested at night and waited, bound and blindfolded for hours, during which he had nothing to eat or drink. In response to Atty. Ramati’s question, he says he was beaten by the policeman, but not harshly, and he was not afraid of him, “he is only afraid of God,” he says.
The next hearing of these defendants is set for 11.4.11 at 9:30 AM.
The two policemen who took the statements will testify. The hearings will be held the whole day.