Ofer - Stone Throwing, Interrogation of Witness
Translation: Marganit W.
Morning and afternoon sessions
Courtroom 2: juvenile court
Judge: Major Sharon Rivlin-Ahai
Prosecutor: Atty. Captain Michael Avitan
Defense: Atty. Nery Ramati
Defendant: Islam Salah Dar Ayoub (Tamimi), ID 402197834, 14-year-old boy from the village of Nabi Salah
Case No. 1367/10
Charge: throwing rocks
As stated in an earlier report, Islam was arrested on the night of 23.1.11 at 2 am, and was then kept in an army jeep, blindfolded and bound. He was later brought to a police station and subjected to a 5-hour interrogation by 3 police interrogators. Absent from the interrogation were the boy’s parents and Atty. Limor Goldstein, who was allowed to see Islam only after the interrogation was over.
Today’s trial was mini-trial to determine the admissibility of Islam’s statement to the police. Three investigators, who had taken Islam Dar Ayoub’s statement on 23.1.11, were summoned to testify.
There were about 15 people in the audience, among them diplomats from France, Sweden, Germany and Spain, representatives from B’tselem and Human Rights Watch, as well as several activists who were there to support the boy.
Islam sat on the defendant’s bench. He had been brought to Ofer from the Youth Ward in Rimonim Prison.
When the boy’s parents came in, the mother ran toward her son to hug him, but the guards intercepted her and forcibly prevented her from reaching him. The distraught mother burst out crying.
The judge asked Islam if he rejected the charges and he said yes.
The first witness was Police Interrogator Moshe Madioni.
The witness stated that he has been working as police interrogator for 26 years. He was also trained as juvenile interrogator, but did not work as such.
The second witness was Arnon Yahav, who stated that he has been working as police investigator for 5 years. He was nervous and hostile and often answered “I don’t remember”, whereas his colleague, the veteran investigator Moshe Madioni seemed to be at his ease and answered the questions politely.
The examination and cross-examination focused on the following issues:
-Was the accused informed of his right to remain silent? Both witnesses said yes.
-Was he informed of his right to an attorney? – Yes.
-Why was the interrogation conducted without the attorney’s presence, even though he had notified the interrogators that he was coming? –Evasive answers.
Why didn’t they take a break when the boy laid his head on the desk with exhaustion? – Evasive answers.
-Why were 3-4 interrogators needed in the interrogation room? –Certainly not with the intention to put pressure on the detainee…
-What was the atmosphere like during the interrogation? – Very relaxed and pleasant. The boy received food, even candy. “He hugged me…” [an idyllic summer camp scene].
-Why did the boy cry after 2 ¾ hours? – He missed a test at school.
-How did you decide what to type into the report from all that was said during the interrogation? –According to the spirit of what was said there.
Many questions were answered with: Those were the officer’s instructions.
The interrogation was recorded. The defense wanted to present the video-cassettes to prove that the right to remain silent was not explicitly explained to the boy.
The defense also pointed out that no parent or family member of the boy was present during the interrogation.
Answer: I don’t remember any interrogation of a boy from the Palestinian territories where the parents were present… the parents are never called in… this is the accepted norm…
(For details of the full hearing, see protocol in Hebrew)
The hearing continued after the break, but the testimony of the third witness, Officer Jalal Awida was postponed to a later date (16.3.11 – the hearing did not take place).
The witness will be summoned to testify on 21.3.11.