Ofer - Plea Bargain, Stone Throwing
Translation: Marganit W.
Four minors were on trial today. Here is an explanation of what “Double Punishment” is:
There is a noticeable trend of minors and youngsters refusing to enter a plea bargain and opting for a trial event when the charge is throwing rocks and incendiary objects. Most of these boys pay for it with long incarcerations, often for months, proportionate to the violations. One detainee has been in jail for 9 months already. Apparently, this is the price the system extracts from those who do not submit to its diktats to enter a plea bargain.
In the meantime, we found out from one of the attorneys that this is indeed the case. Behind the scene, the system blatantly threatens detainees with “double punishment” if they reject a bargain. This is extremely damaging and we shall apprise human rights organization of our findings.
Judge: Major Shmuel Fleischman
Prosecutor: Captain Mazy Mekonen
Defense: Atty. Ahmad Safiya
Defendant: Sharaf Tamimi - Case No. 1422/11, from Nabi-Saleh
Charge: throwing rocks
The defense says this is his first encounter with the case and he has to study it. He requests one-month postponement.
Hearing is set for 6.4.11.
If an agreement is reached, the hearing could take place earlier.
(see earlier report)
Defense: Atty. Tareq Bargout
Defendant: Riad Daraj - Case No. 2992/10, 17 years old
Charge: making and throwing an incendiary object.
Four prosecution witness have already testified, all had interrogated Riad. The defense reiterates and stresses that there will be no plea bargain and that the defendant will be the only witness for the defense. He will testify in the next hearing, set for 11.5.11.
This is Riad’s second extension of custody for the same charge. Half a year after he was released, he was arrested again. The punishment on the previous charge included a 10 months suspended sentence. This will certainly help the court to put pressure on Riad to agree to a plea bargain in his present case.
Defense: Atty. Akram Smara
Defendant: Hashem Hamed - Case No. 3048/10, from the village of Silwad. He has already been in detention for 9 months.
Charge: Making and throwing an incendiary object.
At first there was a problem, but it was soon solved: the prosecution, expecting a plea bargain, did not have the necessary evidence. Here, too, all the witnesses were interrogators who had questioned the defendant. The defendant’s mother told us that her son was arrested in the middle of the night, with ten more villagers. He’s being kept in prison in Beersheva.
The next hearing is set for 6.4.11.
Judge: Major Amir Dahan
Defense: Atty. Avi Baram
Defendant: Idris Hasuna Jabari - Case No. 1247/11
Charge: using and selling drugs (Ecstasy and Hashish)
The judge accepts the agreement reached between the two sides.
Sentence: 8 month jail time, 2500 shekels fine or 2 months in jail, and suspended sentence of 8 months for two years for dealing drugs (except for personal use), and suspended sentence for 30 days for 3 years for using illegal substance. The agreement took into consideration the defendant’s clean record, his admission of guilt and his declared intention to quit the drug scene. The judge added that he had not included mandatory rehab because there is no such program where the defendant lives. However, he recommended that the Prison Authority offer him a rehabilitation program.
Defense: Atty. Firas Habib
The defendants are minors:
Amran Abed Al-Rahim Hassim Ayash – Case No. 1262/11
Fadi Walid Ahmad Sheikh – Case No. 1261/11
Majed Zaharan Ibrahim Zaharan – Case No. 1263/11
All three are 17, from the village of Bidu, accused of throwing rocks on 11.1.11. They were detained for 13 days and were released on 2500 shekel bail each.
Two witnesses testified for the prosecution: a Border Police (f.) soldier and a unit commander who were called to the site where the incident occurred. Both testified that the boys had thrown rocks at their jeep and at the fence. When they were identified, the boys fled to a wadi where they were later caught. The debate in court was about the identification of the boys caught in the wadi with the rock throwers. The witnesses were positive they identified the defendants based on their clothes; they had not seen their faces.
The hearing is scheduled to continue on 25.5.11.