Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Plea Bargain, Holding and trading of combat materiel
Judge: Ron Deloumi
Defence Attorneys: Fahmi Shakirat, Maamoun Hashin, Firas
Police Investigator: Jalal Nasser Awwida
Hearings on remand extensions mostly begin at 10:00. We arrived at 10:00, as did the three defence attorneys. We all waited in the parking lot, between police vehicles, the engines of which were running (not clear why but obviously not to save energy).
Around 11:00 two interpreters and a typist appeared. We asked them how they knew that the hearings would begin at 11:00. They said the investigators had notified them. The defence attorneys should also have received notice from the investigators. They said that they had been calling since yesterday, but no one had answered.
We all waited with growing impatience.
At 11:00 we were allowed in. We entered the remand extension courtroom – small, suffocating, hot and unpleasant. By the time the judge entered, the investigators and defence attorneys had managed to reach some plea bargains.
The judge arrived at 11:20, the typist sat down and turned the computer on.
10 files in the docket, 3 of them of barred [from meeting a lawyer] detainees.
All those present (the judge, the typist, the two interpreters, three defence lawyers, two warders and us), sweating and complaining of heat and lack of air.
They were already planning how to finish the whole process quickly, because it was already late.
The judge instructed the investigator to order the warder: “Bring in number one!”
“Number 1” entered.
The charge: possessing combat materiel.
The judge studied the file, identified the detainee, then continued to read. He became aware that there was a plea bargain: 11 more days of investigation, and transfer of the file to the prosecution at Ofer Military Court.
The judge dictated his decision: 11 days, in other words until 17.10.08. At the request of the defence, because the 11 days end on Friday, the remand would be until Thursday, 16.10.08.
“Number 2" already entered. There was a plea bargain and he left immediately: Decision: 11 days remand.
Charge: membership and activity in an illegal organisation.
“Number 3" entered, the blindfold was removed, and then it suddenly became clear that he was “barred” and he was removed.
In our presence, and that of the defence, the investigator requested 22 days remand extension.
Adv. Maamoun Hashin began to ask questions. Since he was prohibited from meeting his client, and the whole classified file was in the hands of the judge, the lawyer did not yet know what the charge was.
The detainee was arrested in his home on 2.10.08.
The attorney asked piercing questions, and the investigator lost his patience because he needed to check for information that he did not have. A messenger who left with one question on a piece of paper, returned with one answer, and then had to go out again with yet another question. Tempers were short because it was hot and late.
Judge’s decision: in light of the classified material, 22 days.
The next detainee was “barred”. His lawyer was Maamoun Hashin.
Hashin obstinately demanded to know why remand extension was necessary. The police investigator was discomforted by the question, and pointed to the time so that the lawyer should understand that the investigation needed to end. Hashin continued to ask, then we all walked out, and the detainee entered.