Ofer - Stone Throwing, Sentence
Translation: Marganit W.
As on every Monday, hearings in courtroom 2 dealt mostly with minors, but there were also a few cases involving adults. The docket included 23 cases. I shall report on several of them.
The hearings started at 11:00 am, 1 hour later than scheduled.
Judge: Major Sharon Rivlin-Ahai
Prosecutor: Captain Ella Sirotinsky
Saleh Amad Ahmad Abu Shrar – ID 401125141– Case No. 3837/10
A 13 year old from Al-Arub Refugee Camp, arrested in September 2010 and released on bail. He came from home, accompanied by his parents.
Charge: throwing objects. The child denies the allegations.
Defense: Atty. Iyad Misk (from DCI)
Witnesses summoned to testify did not show up [this is a frequent occurrence, causing delays in the hearings].
Defense: …The defendant is a pupil. He had to miss school in order to hear the witnesses [who incriminated him]… Witness No. 5 (also a minor) said specifically: “yes, I incriminated him, but only because of pressure put on me [during the interrogation].
The prosecutor wants to summon Witness No. 4 again. In a confrontation between Witnesses 4 and 5, the former stated that fear made him say what he said.
The judge’s decision: A last chance for the prosecution to depose Witness No. 4.
…When there’s only one incriminating witness – who has already recanted his police testimony – the prosecution has to consider the public interest in pursuing the process.
An evidentiary hearing was set for 31.1.11.
Ta’a Saleh Hushiya – ID 401885926– Case No. 5333/10
A 13 years old boy from the village of Qatana. He was arrested on 14.12 10 and is charged with throwing rocks at security forces (the police passed by his house).
Defense: Atty. Akram Samara (who took over the case from Atty. Nasser Nubani).
The defense and the prosecution had a long discussion about a plea bargain. Eventually, the boy admitted he had thrown rocks (something he denied all along).
“Considering the defendant’s young age etc….” the judge concluded, ordering his prison sentence to coincide with his present detention (21 days), plus suspended sentence and a
1000 shekel fine.
Ahmad Haled Ahmad Salibi, ID 854746690– Case No. 4310/10
A 16 year old from Beit Ummar. He was arrested on 9.10.10 during a demonstration in the village and was brought to the police station in Kiryat Arba.
Charge: throwing objects.
To this evidentiary session a soldier was summoned as a witness to describe what happened during the demonstration, in which it was claimed that rocks were thrown at soldiers. The defendant denied that he had thrown rocks stating that he saw the witness for the first time at the police station. The soldier, on the other hand, insisted that he had stood next to the defendant during the demonstration and was thus able to identify him.
Undercover soldiers [dressed like Palestinians], also present at the demonstration, identified him as well. The witness spent 24 hours with the detainees at the police station.
The question of identifying the defendant was not resolved even after videos were shown in court of scenes from the demonstration. The witness had trouble pointing out the defendant from among other figures. He could not remember what the boy was wearing that day. About 30-40 people participated in the march that day: he remembered three who wore black and red shirts, but could not tell how far apart they were.
Judge: Can you recognize in this mess (the videos) the face of the defendant? Perhaps you remember him from the long hours you spent at the police station in Kiryat Arba?
She wants to subpoena the editor of the videos.
The next evidentiary hearing is set for 20.1.11.
Muhammad Rajab Albashiti – ID 401906912, Case No. 4704/10
Yazan Jamal Attallah – ID 401363072, Case No. 4700/10
Two 14 year olds from Abu-Dis. [see earlier reports of these cases from 11.11.10 and 29.11.10]
Defense: Atty. Muhammad Mahmud (from DCI)
A third boy, aged 15, who was part of the group, is not present in court. The two boys were supposed to testify against him. It seems that in this case all have been incriminating each other. Due to conflict of interest, one attorney cannot represent all three, so a new attorney is sought. The next hearing is set for 31.1.11.
The father of one of the boys was visibly upset at the interminable postponements of the trials and at the conduct of the court, while the boys are kept in detention for many weeks.
Muhammad Tarek Abd Ellatif Omar – ID 401471982, Case No. 3905/10
A 13 years old boy from Ur Altahta.
Charge: throwing objects.
Defense: Atty. Haled Alaraj.
The boy has already been in custody for four and a half months! It appears that during his arrest he was severely abused by the soldiers.
[See earlier reports of this case from 29.11.10 and 6.12.10]
The hearing took place at the end of the day after I had left. Aya, who was present, reported that a plea bargain had been reached, and as a result the child was sentenced to 8 months in prison. He burst out in tears when he heard the sentence.
We will try to find out more details.
( read Aya's report in mahsanmilim http://www.mahsanmilim.com/ChildsTrialE.htm )
Muhammad Abd Alkarim Mustafa Hatib – ID 851611053, Case No.3599/09
A resident of Bil’in, one of the founders of the Popular Committee Against the Fence and against the Occupation.
Main charge: incitement.
[See earlier reports of this case from 3.9.09, 4.1.10 and 23.2.10]
Defense: Atty. Gaby Lasky.
There was a large audience this afternoon in Courtroom 2 for the verdict regarding Hatib’s case (diplomats, reporters, activists and supporters). There was much cheering when the judge handed down her decision: Acquittal of all charges based on reasonable doubt.
(for the HEBREW protocol of the verdict click here)
The prosecution has a month to appeal the decision.