Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Stone Throwing, Holding and trading of combat materiel
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Boaz Oren
Police Investigator: Avi Akiva
Today the magic number was 9: all the hearings we attended, where there
was prior agreement between the sides about remand extension, ended with a 9-day extension. Only in the first hearing - described further on - there was no agreement and the number was different.
Defendant: Iman Darchana
Defense: Attorney Fadi Qawassme, represented by Firas Sabah.
Mr. Darchana, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council since 2006, lives in Ramallah. He was arrested in early March 2009.
Later on, an administrative order was issued against him for 6 months, until 25.9.09.
The prosecution failed to make the case against him, but the appeal against the administrative detention was rejected. Mr. Drachna was incarcerated at Ofer Prison, then 8 days ago he was transferred to the
Russian Compound for GSS interrogation in connection with suspicions on a prior violation, not the one for which he was detained.
In the hearing today, the prosecution requested a 9 day remand extension to complete an investigation that might yield an indictment. During the session it transpired that Mr. Darchana is accused of the familiar
"membership and activity in an unlawful organization" - i.e., Hamas. The defendant denied all the allegations. He is a member of a perfectly legal organization: the Palestinian Legislative Council.
There was no interpreter present, so Attorney Firas translated.
The next 5 hearings were short because there were prior agreements on a 9-day extension. Here are the names of the detainees and the charges against them:
Ali Bahudan - membership and activity in a hostile organization, planning and carrying out terrorist acts against Israeli targets; activity endangering security in the region.
Shadi - Contact with a foreign agent, activity in a hostile organization.
Hamze Shlash - Membership and activity in a hostile organization - Hamas, throwing rocks and planning to throw Molotov cocktails at military targets.
Salah Hussein - Membership and activity in a hostile organization, preparing, storing and carrying combat materiel, preparing charges in order to disrupt security in the region.
Now came the turn of a "barred" detainee. Roni presented the judge with the High Court decision concerning open hearings.
Judge: The closed door discussions are aimed at preventing leaks from the hearings.
Investigator: Insists on prohibition to publish the hearings. Requests 'in camera' hearing.
Judge: I will decide case by case.
Investigator: If Your Honor orders an open discussion, I will request an order to prohibit publication.
The judge examined the "Confidential Information" file and ordered an 'in camera' hearing. He allowed, however, the publication of the fact of the detention itself. We left the courtroom.
We waited in the hall for ten minutes, with the detainee, who was facing the wall, hands and feet
cuffed, dark glasses on his eyes and his forehead stuck to the wall.
The last hearing was interesting: it was conducted 'in camera' though the detainee was not "barred". For some reason, the investigator and the defense, Attorney Ahmad Sfiya, had reached an agreement on 'in camera', as we found out from Attorney Safiya, after the hearing.