Ofer - Interrogation of Witness, Incriminators

Ilana Hammerman, guest Shlomit R., Roni Hammermann (reporting)

Courtroom 4

Judge: Major Hillit Bar-On Biber

Prosecutor: Capt.Odelia Amos

Defence: Mahmud Hassan

Evidentiary Hearing

Defendant: Saed Suhir Jamil Alhamamra - File Nr. 1919/09 - I.D. 852046929

(see reports of previous hearings on 22.7.09 / 12.8.09)

Witness for the defence: Saber Muhammed Ali Alhamamra

Saber was summoned as witness for the defence in order to support Saed's testimony that he does not know Muhammed Shusha, the young man, who has incriminated him and Saber.

Interrogation by the defence:

Saber was arrested the same night as Saed and together with 15 other young men from the village Hussan. At the time of his arrest, Saber was shortly after eye surgery, a transplantation of the cornea, performed in St Jones hospital in Jerusalem, and the stitches of the surgery have not yet been removed. They were removed 2 days later in Hadassah Hospital. Saber is a neighbour of Saed, but they are not friends. During his police investigation Saber was asked if he knows Mohammed Shusha, who incriminated him and Saed. Saber answered that he did not know him. He did not sign the protocol of his interrogator, because the interrogator wrote down answers he did not give. He also could not read a great part of the handwriting of the interrogator. To the question, for instance, if he threw stones Saber answered "no", and the interrogator wrote down "yes".

Cross-interrogation by the prosecution:

"You said that you do not know Muhammed Shusha".

"No, I don't know him."

"You said that you were not a member of the "Popular Front" [for the Liberation of Palestine], and that you did not act against the security of the region."


The defence lawyer corrected her: "He did say that he did not throw Molotov Cocktails"

Saber: "No, I did not throw Molotov Cocktails"

Prosecution: "If you did not do anything, why did Muhammed Shusha incriminate you?"

"I don't know."

"Why should somebody whom you do not know, incriminate you?"

"I don' know."

"It is very strange, that you do not know Muhammed Shusha, who is the same age as you, comes from the same village as you und worked in Beitar Ilit at the same time as you did. What is your answer to this?"

"The police investigator told me that Shusha was in the same class as me, he showed me his picture and the date of his birth. I realized that he is younger than me."

"He is probably a couple of months younger than you. Do you know anybody from the Shusha family?"

"We have a brother-in-law from the Shusha family, which is very large indeed."

"Nevertheless, why should somebody, who does not know you and whom you do not know, incriminate you?"

"I don't know".

"Would you do such a thing? To incriminate somebody whom you do not know?"


"Do you know my name? How old I am? Where I live? Where I worked a year ago?"


"It is not logical, that strangers could give exact information about you. How come?"

"I don't know."

"Shusha gave us your exact name, age, place of living and of work, Beitar Ilit!"

"I don't work in Beitar Ilit any longer. I work now at the supermarket"  

The prosecutor went on and tried to entangle Saber in a web of questions about his eye surgery (there were 30 of them) and about the date of the last one. She tried to confuse him and went so far as to demand documents concerning his eye problems.

Then she tried to challenge Saber's credibility with questions concerning the interrogation protocol that he did not sign.

"Why didn't you speak about the wrong entries that your interrogator wrote in the protocol during your own trial?"

"I spoke about it, as a matter of fact"

"But I do not see any remarks in the protocol".

"I spoke about it to the interrogator."

"Why didn't you tell your Judge?"

"He did not ask me about these matters."

The prosecutor wanted to imply that Saber knows Saed very well and that he, therefore, agreed to be a witness so as to help Saed.

"You said that you are a neighbor of Saed. Could it be that you came today in order to get Saed out of prison?"

"No, I came in order to answer correctly on what really happened to me."

At the end of the interrogation the two sides decided, that the summary of the prosecution will be presented at the next session in written form and the summery of the defence will be presented orally. In addition, the defence lawyer will seek to receive the witness'  permission to disclose his medical documents and submit them to the prosecution, so as to support the credibility of Saber.

The next hearing is set for 24.09.09, at 14:00