Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Remand Extension, Barred (from meeting with attorney)
Today an attempt was made to interfere with our presence in the court room and thus to impede a public trial.
Judge: Hanan Rubinstein
Police Investigator: Itzik (Izhak Yacobov)
Out of 10 files on the agenda, 6 were of prisoners who were barred from meeting a defense lawyer.
As we have done many times before, we attended the session where the prisoner is barred from seeing a lawyer in the absence of the prisoner.
Attorney Mamoun was having the customary absurd "dialogue" with the police investigator Itzik.
Mamoun: What is the prisoner suspected of?
Itzik: It is all written in the confidential report.
Mamoun: Can you tell me about the type of suspicion?
Itzik: No, it is described in the confidential report.
Mamoun: Is it some specific activity?
Itzik: The activity is detailed in the confidential report.
Then, all of a sudden, Itzik caught sight of us and turned to the judge:
"They are writing all this confidential information and they will publish it. I want them outside the court room!" Judge: "Why did you not tell them before the session started?"
Itzik: "I tell them now."
Judge: "That's a bit late"
Itzik: "Go out, please"
We: "Never before did we have to leave the room as long as the defense lawyer was present"
Itzik: "Well, then stop taking notes"
We: "We do not see any reason for this!"
Itzik: "Stop taking notes or I'll get you out"
Judge: "If you stop taking notes, you can stay. Do you agree?"
We "agreed" under protest.
Itzik: "In the next session you will not be in the room anymore!"
And indeed, when the next hearing began, we had to leave the room. After a couple of minutes, Itzik came out and "invited" us in again under the condition that we do not take notes. We do not know what had caused Itzik's change of mind! Not to take notes is, of course, a serious blow for the relevance of our presence and documentation! We see it as a further attempt to get rid of the troublesome public eye and to prevent a public court altogether.
Please, pay a visit to the Russian Compound so that we can follow further developments.