Ofer - Plea Bargain, Stone Throwing
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Captain Etti Adar
Prosecutor: Jenny Lubinsky
We came to follow up on the case of Malek Alalami on whose trial we reported two weeks ago on 4.4.12
Malek’s trial did not start until 2 PM. Until then we attended a long series of “arraignments” and “memoranda” meaning that defendants and their attorneys appeared before the judge in the presence of their families who had made it all the way here to see their relatives for five minutes, before the judge acceded to the attorneys request and ordered a deferment and a new date, whereupon the prison guards took the detainees and their families out of the court.
As we witnessed in Malek’s last trial, this hearing, too, exposed the unconscionable conduct of the defense attorneys. Malek has been in detention for six weeks, but apparently none of the attorneys that dealed with his case has met with him or spoken to him outside the court. The question here is whether Malek is competent to stand trial, and of course, if he is capable of carrying out the violations he is accused of (such as driving a car, which is one of the counts).
Malek was brought into court more than once this morning. The prison guard took off his handcuffs and he was happy to see his family in court. A few minutes later the handcuffs were back on, and he was taken out of court and the family was ordered to leave. The defense attorney was nowhere in sight. During the day the judge asked several times what was going on with Malek’s trial, but his attorney was busy in another courtroom, and later, because he suffers from herniated disc, he delegated the defense to an attorney who had previously handled the case.
Finally, when Malek was brought in for the third time, and the family was readmitted, the attorney arrived and the judge informed him that there was a psychiatric report from the regional mental health office testifying that to the best of the psychiatrist’s knowledge, Malek is retarded. The psychiatrist recommended that a committee examine him to decide if he is competent to stand trial.
The attorney opined that such a procedure could take weeks, and it would be better to reach an agreement with the prosecution. If he could not reach a satisfactory agreement, he said, then he would accept the regional psychiatrist’s recommendation to refer Malek to a committee to determine his competence.
The prosecutor did not object to the defense’s suggestion and the judge accepted it and set the next hearing for Wednesday 9.5.12. Until then, the defense should confer with the prosecution to reach an agreement.
We wonder what kind of agreement does the attorney mean to reach with the prosecution. Is it a plea bargain with the usual components of probation and fine? And why was there no attempt to get him released on bail as first step before an agreement with the prosecution,
With a bright face, Malek’s uncle told us that the attorney promised him that there would definitely not be a fine as part of the deal. We shall see.
Malek’s cousin, Rafat Alalami is also on trial for the same charge.
Haled Al-Araj, who represents him, asked for a deferment and the hearing was set for 23.6.12.
Ahmad Jaber Hamad Nawajaa– ID 921529319 – released on bail
Defense: Nery Ramati
Ahmad was arrested on 2.7.11 (more than 10 months ago). He was involved in a confrontation with settlers and soldiers in the Susia area of the South Hebron Mountain. He is accused of attacking soldiers and hurling objects.
After an agreement was reached between the prosecution and the defense, based on Ahmad’s admission and a revised charge, the sentence was:
4 months suspended sentence for 4 years and a 2000 shekel fine to be deducted from the 4000 that he had deposited as bail.
To learn about the via dolorosa that Ahmed will have to go through to retrieve the remaining 2000 shekels, the balance after paying the fine, see Hagai Mattar’s informative and instructive article (in Hebrew) on the subject of retrieving bail money.