Ashqelon - Barred (from meeting with attorney), Terror Attacks
Waiting with us outside the walls of Ashkelon Prison, were an attorney and a young man doing his articles, both from the office of Avigdor Feldman.
They are representing Mahmoud Damara, Head of Force 17 in the West Bank, who has been in custody since 2006.
In the entrance to the courtroom we met attorney Fahmi Awawi who was clutching a list of all the detainees, headed by the name of the judge. We copied some of the names.
The judge was Naphtul Shmuelevitz.
Detainees who were not barred from meeting their attorneys:
Fuad Hassan Mahmoud Nuaja, ID 915126874
Muatez Suleiman Muhammad Qawasme, ID 850250036
Shadi Muhammad Muhammad Barwish
Qawasme was the first to be brought in. He was arrested on 4.2.08, in connection with a terror attack in Dimona on the same day; two suicide bombers blew themselves up, killing two people.... "An investigation is going on in our unit, and suspects have been arrested. This is the third remand in custody. We request an extension of 15 days, and are herewith submitting a classified report detailing the activities to be done."
Advocate Awawi asked questions, all of which were answered "contained in the classified report."
Advocate Awawi: what are the suspicions? Does he deny?
Police investigator: membership and activity in a hostile organisation, support, conspiring to commit a transgression, assistance and planning implementation of an offence.
Advocate Awawi: he gave his version wherein he denies all the charges. What you have is what the driver said. I think he was next to him - he or his brother. I request his release to his home today.
Judge: I have studied the suspect's confession from 28.4.08. From the two documents arises a connection between the harsh event and the suspect. As for the nature and scope of his activity, legitimate questions still remain open. From counsel's words I understand' that the suspect does not share the details of his acts with his lawyer, and it is possible that his defense will be harmed thereby. Therefore judicial critique of the file is important.
The suspect was already brought for extension of remand on 7.4.08, and I concur with the ruling of the judge on that day regarding the deeds attributed to the suspect and the need to accept the extension request. In the classified report, the investigative program is detailed.... I do not ignore the memoranda and findings detailed in the report. Accordingly I order extended remand of the suspect until 19.5.08.
The next detainee was prohibited from meeting a lawyer, and we waited outside. They brought a detainee who appeared very young, happy and humming to himself, lifting his blindfold and winking at us, still in civilian clothes. He is 21, from Hebron. The investigator asked the lawyer to get the detainee clothes.
We were only brought in to the next hearing after a few minutes, when it became clear that he is not prohibited from meeting his lawyer, and for that reason we do not know his name.
There was a significant change: the detainees' podium had vanished, and they were permitted to sit. On the other hand, our second seat was taken by the investigator, Moshe Levi, because in his opinion it was more important that the warder from Shimshon Unit should sit, rather than us, this despite the fact that there was another empty chair next to him.
The request was for eight days. Independence Day is being celebrated during that week, and so no hearings will take place. Also, the file was not ready yet for transfer.
Judge: on 17.4.08, the suspect admitted that he was connected to some of the offences attributed to him. I read the protocol from 22.4.08. In that hearing the suspect was represented by Advocate Hatab and was still prohibited from meeting with his lawyer. From yesterday's information report I understand, that detailed actions (of interrogation) still have to be taken. A question arises about the desirable remand period. Has it already been ruled that holidays and festivals should be taken into consideration?
The investigative actions detailed in clauses 3 and 4 cannot be carried out in a day or two, because they depend one on the other and thus cannot be performed at the same time.
In conclusion, it is correct to give a minimal period, as is the request of the police representative.
The suspect's learned advocate contended that ... an indictment has to be submitted. But despite the confession, there remain investigative actions that the police must do.
Decision: 8 days extension of remand.