Ofer - Remand Extension, Criminal Offence
Translation: Marganit W.
The Trial of Dib Sahdi Dib Salem – ID 858887573
Defense: Atty. Darwish Nashaf
Prosecutor: Atty. Ariel Achishar
Judge: Lieut. Col. Shmuel Keidar
Remand extension hearing.
The defendant, Dib Salem is a PA policeman from Ramallah. He is accused of trading in stolen vehicles.
There is general agreement that the vehicles were stolen by Samer Saada, a resident of Qalandiya, who has a “blue id card”. Samer was released right away, with no restrictions (something that even the judge marveled at). The evidence includes intelligence, which required a “confidentiality certificate”. The prosecution requested a 60-day extension to obtain the certificate.
The judge stated that even though the certificate should accompany the indictment (which is not the case here), there are “conflicts with the demands of reality”, and the regional commander whose signature is required on the certificate has more pressing maters to attend to (what’s it to him that the detainee will linger in jail two more month? - NA). Although the prosecutor acknowledged that in this region a ‘confidentiality certificate’ takes about three weeks to issue, the judge was generous and allowed a 30-day extension.
The defense argued that even if Dib is convicted, the punishment is likely to be a short prison time, but the court ignored it. The defendant is a regular, decent man, with no prior convictions, and the extension may exceed the possible penalty.
In the long discussion that ensured, the defendant’s brother Mahran, was mentioned several times. It turns out that the brother deals in stolen vehicles. Since Dib is the eldest, his name was mentioned in the investigation, as is customary in Arab society, and not because he deals in stolen cars. Dib’s grandfather had just died and was buried the day before. To substantiate this claim, the defense presents an obituary in “Al Kuds” (since the judge was skeptical about the grandfather’s death). He also pointed out the absence of family members in the court. The defense moved to release the defendant so he could observe the mourning ceremony (offering any necessary warranty to the court).
The judge announced that he would hand down his decision in a few days.
Naturally, the defense objected: by that time the mourning observance will be over (in Islam it takes only 3 days – NA).
The judge was taken aback: isn’t ‘shiva’ seven days? [This underlines the attitude towards the population that comes before this court – no attempt is made to learn its culture and customs – NA]
In conclusion, the judge said he would try to make a decision by this afternoon, but could not promise, since there are many cases on his desk.
We tried to contact the attorney to find out if Dib had been released, so he could mourn his grandfather, but we were not successful.
The long hearing included (very impressive) legal argumentations from the defense, a debate about the authenticity of the interrogation and the translation – all are included in the protocol (Hebrew).
We were invited by the defense attorney to attend this session: he pointed out that the prosecutor is part of the “Lahav Prosecutors” a special police unit. According to the attorney, there is a trend lately to hand over cases like this – that used to be tried in Israel – to the military court where a conviction is more easily obtained. In Israel, he claims, there is at least a semblance of impartiality, and in a case like this, the defendant would have been acquitted, or if convicted, would have served only 30 days.