Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Remand Extension, Barred (from meeting with attorney)

Observers: 
Roni Hammermann, Tova Szeintuch (reporting)
Jun-6-2009
|
Morning

Translation: Marganit W.


Russian Compound

Judge: Naphthali Shmuelevitch
Police Investigator: Avi Akiva
Attorneys: Ahlam Haddad, Ma'amun Hashim, Firas Sabah, Shkirat Fahmi, Fadi Kawassmi


There are 22 cases in the docket.


Even though the entire team was present at 10 AM, the session opened only at 11 because the father of one of the detaineesinfo-icon had received permission to be present in the court, and the vetting procedure took very long.


Eventually, the father was admitted and the meeting between father and son was very moving: it was marked by restraints, emotion and tears (mine).


The discussion was very short, but the encounter between father and son, brief as it was, must have given both moral support. The detention was extended by 9 days, and effort will be made to present an indictment
within that period of time and to transfer it to the prosecution.


Before Attorney Haddad's client was admitted, the police investigator, Avi Akiva, moved that the session be conducted 'in camerainfo-icon'. He referred the Judge to a certain paragraph in the confidential file to substantiate his
motion, adding that if the judge rejected the motion, he would request a ban on the publication of the protocol.


The detainee is not barred (from meeting an attorney).
Attorney Haddad objects, pointing out that the detainee is not "barred"
and that two earlier hearings were not conducted 'in camera'. She invokes the principle of a public trial and stresses its supreme importance to the judicial process.


The judge's decision:
The judge refers to the investigator's reasons for closed doors but explains that the confidential file does not point to any risk to state security from the presence of other people in the court. However, he sets
two conditions to our presence:

1. If the investigator's answer to a question by the defense has a
potential to compromise the investigation, the answer will be given to the judge in writing.
2. The content of the hearing and the details of the detainee may not be
published; the judge states that he is authorized to issue
such an order.

Attorney Haddad agrees to the ban on the publication of the trial.

The next detainee is barred from meeting his attorney. He is represented by Attorney Ma'amun Hashim.


In this case, too, Investigator Akiva requests that the hearing be conducted 'in camera'. Attorney Hashim objects vehemently.
Again, Justice Shmulevich decides to exchange 'in camera' for a ban on publication.


After the hearing, which is conducted without the detainee's presence, we are asked to leave the court, so that the detainee could be admitted.
We invoke an earlier pre-High Court of Justice decision, which allows us, as civilian representatives of the public and in order to respect the principle of public trial, to be present at all stages of the hearing.


The judge examines the decision, signed by Ms. Esther Mandel, director of  High Court of Justice section at the Attorney General's Office, and decides that we should not be after all. Investigator Akiva declares the hearing 'partially in camera'.


The next seven detainees are admitted - and soon ushered out. Their files will be transferred to the Prosecution after 9 more days of interrogation. Everything is done in a hurry.


The next case involves a "barred" detainee, represented by Attorney Shkirat.
This hearing is also conducted 'partially in camera' and we are requested to leave the court before the detainee is admitted.


In sum: nothing new under the sun. We are barred from attending any hearing where the detainee is in court without his attorney. The only difference is that now we are partially 'in camera'... AND there is a prohibition on the publication of the proceedings.