Ofer - Stone Throwing, Holding and trading of combat materiel
Translation: Marganit W.
Courtroom 7: remand extensions
Judge: Moshe Levy
There are 26 cases in the docket. Most of the detainees this morning are young. Some look like minors.
Muatez Mussa Ahmad Banat – Case No. 731/11. A school kid.
Charge: throwing rocks at Israeli vehicles near his village, on 3.6.11 (together with other boys). The incident resulted in broken windows in one car and in damage to others.
The prosecution requests detention until the conclusion of the proceedings. It maintains that the evidence is conclusive, based on incriminatory testimony. Two other youths who took part in the incident were also detained and sentenced to 7-8 months in jail.
The judge noticed that Muatez is using crutches and demands an explanation from his attorney, Jalid Ihab. No explanation is supplied. It later transpires that one of the drivers of the vehicles, claiming he feared for his life, shot at the defendant and injured him. 6 months later the defendant pressed charges against the settler at the police station. This led to his arrest about 8 months after the incident. Atty. Ihab argued that the delay and the defendant’s condition (as a result of the injury) make him a low security risk, requiring no incarceration.
The defendant denies the allegations.
The judge agrees that the defendant is not a flight risk since he went to the police to lodge a complaint by his own initiative. However, the judge argues that the security risk does apply: it was not just a case of throwing rocks but of inflicting damage by a large [how many exactly? M.M.] group of people. Add to this the testimony of his partners in crime who linked the defendant to the incident, and the conclusion is: detention until the conclusion of the proceedings.
Arraignment session set for 30.3.11.
There were no family members in the courtroom. Muatez kept looking at the door waiting for his mother (?) to come. As soon as the hearing was over, the GSS officer urged him to leave, pulling him outside.
Wassam Ramadan Darwish Abu Ramuz – Case No. 1756/11, 14.5 years old, from Hebron.
Defense: Atty. Noubani
The prosecution requests detention until the conclusion of the proceedings. The defendant was incriminated by prosecution witnesses (2 and 3), soldiers who watched him from a nearby rooftop; they recognized the defendant by his clothes, which matched those he wore at his arrest.
The defense objects. There is only one charge, based on incrimination. The defendant denies the allegation insisting that he did not throw rocks. It is not clear from the statements how far the rocks were thrown and if there was eye contact. The incrimination is full of holes. It is not clear what part the defendant played. He has no prior record, meaning he poses no security risk. His age, too, should be taken into account.
The judge notes that no family member is present. Atty. Noubani says he did not check to see if any family member arrived.
The judge finds for the defense: In normal circumstances the charge would lead to detention because of security risk. However, in view of the defendant’s age and since his collaborator was not charged (the prosecutor explains that due to BP mistake, the detainee has disappeared – the case is under investigation), he releases the defendant under the following conditions:
1. 5000-shekel bail. 2. third party guarantee for 10,000 shekels. 3. The defendant will report to the police station near his home every Sunday.
Arraignment session is set for 4.4.11 in Justice Sharon Rivlin-Ahai’s juvenile court.
The prosecution requested a 72-hour delay in carrying out the decision; the judge granted 24 hours to allow for an appeal.
We were told later by the defense attorney, that the prosecution decided n o t to appeal. But the attorney did not know, whether the kid had indeed been released on bail. He no longer represents him.
Abed Alrahman Muhammad Ahmed – Case No. 1863/11, 20 years old.
Defense: Atty. Abu Ahmed.
The prosecution requests remand extension until the conclusion of the proceedings.
Charge: infringement (or an attempt at infringement) of the law: on 7.3.11 he tried to enter Israel without a permit, using someone else’s ID card.
The defense objects. The defendant has an entry and work permit to work at Mishor Adumim area. The authorities conduct an examination before issuing such permits, especially for someone as young as this 20 year old. Thus, there is no security risk. As for flight risk, the defense suggests that Israeli citizens vouch for him and post bail to assure he reports to trial.
Judge’s decision: The appellate court has ruled in earlier cases that this violation warrants detention because of the flight risk. I see no reason to deviate from this ruling. The defendant tried to enter Jerusalem while his permit was limited to Mishor Adumim, thus the risk flight remains, and he is remanded in custody until the conclusion of the proceedings.
Arraignment session is set for 6.4.11 before Justice Dahan.
Sami Omar Abu Gouda– Case No. 1853/11, 14 years old.
Defense: Abu Ahmed
Charge: throwing objects
By agreement between the sides, and in view of the evidence, including the defendant’s admission of guilt to the police and the officers’ testimony, the defendant poses a security risk, despite his young age. Hence, detention until the conclusion of the proceedings.
Arraignment session set for 4.4.11 before Justice Sharon Rivlin-Ahai.
Abdelhadi Salah Muhammad Abu Turki– Case No.1833/11
Defense: Abu Ahmed
Prosecutor: The defendant was captured at the checkpoint of the Cave of the Fathers (in Hebron) with a knife in his possession. He did not surrender the knife to the security personnel; it was detected by the magnetic detector. He was asked to go through the machine twice, and only when he lifted his shirt was the knife discovered. Its blade is 9 cm long. Thus, a security risk exists, and the prosecutor requests detention until the conclusion of the proceedings.
Defense: the defendant found the knife, and forgot all about it by the time he reached the checkpoint. He made no movement indicating he wanted to use the knife. He claims the knife was in the pocket of his coat, which he took off for the security check. If the hearing is at the end of the month, his detention will exceed the customary period for such cases, in case of conviction. (the defense cites a precedent supporting this argument).
The judge’s decision: there is clear potential for danger in possessing a ‘cold’ weapon such as a knife, especially these days [a reference to the massacre at Itamar – M.M]. In a case where the accused tried to conceal a knife, there is argument for security risk, hence remand extension until the conclusion of the proceedings.
Arraignment session set for 23.3.11 (the date was a concession to the defense that claimed the remand may lengthen the incarceration, if he is convicted).
Awad Abdul Hamdi Halil Abu Zlata– Case No. 1814/11
Defense: Abu Ahmed
Charge: possession of combat materiel (guns, cartridges, military equipment) and refusal to report to the police.
The defense acknowledges the evidence, but objects to the detention.
The incident happened in 2008.
Decision: There is no contention of the details in the charge sheet and in the defendant’s statement to the police. The charge of possession warrants security risk. The defense argues against detention because the violations were committed at the end of 2008. Since then, many attempts were made to arrest the accused and interrogate him, but he managed to evade the police. The reasons for his evasions are not convincing. There is also reason to consider him a flight risk. Hence, detention until the conclusion of the legal proceedings.
Arraignment session set for 30.3.11
Courtroom 5: remand extensions
Judge: Lieut.-Col. Ami Navon
Prosecutor: Captain Michael Avitan
Defense: Tarek Bargout
Naji Tamimi, one of the leaders of the popular struggle against the separation fence at Nebi Salah, 47 years old, was arrested on the night of 6.3.11 on charges of incitement to throw rocks over many years - since the second Intifada.
The prosecution bases its case on incrimination by a boy, Islam Dar Ayoub [Tamimi] from 23.1.11. It requests remand extension to prepare the indictment.
The defense requests an alternative to detention, adding that many people are willing to post bail for him.
The judge decides on a 5-day remand extension, until 17.3.11.
Naji’s family and a group of supporters are present in court.
The prosecutor carries a gun on his shoulder. I have never seen an armed prosecutor in court before. This is rather horrible. I did not have a chance to investigate this new phenomenon.