Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Remand Extension, Maltreatment
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Major Oren Boaz
Police Investigator: Omri Awida
Defense: Nery Ramati, Firas Sabah, Judd Kadmani, Tarek Bargout
We arrived at 9:30, as usual.
The hearing was in progress and we gathered that the defendant was barred from seeing his attorney.
After being frisked we were approved for entering. We met attorneys Sabah and Ramati. The hearing was conducted behind closed doors – a new procedure initiated by the police investigator in order to prevent ‘undesired’ people from attending the hearings.
In every case that involved a “barred” detainee, the judge declared the hearing “behind closed doors.”
We were unable to attend even part of the session because we had to wait for a prison warden to search us. We saw the detainee taken out of the courtroom. He was a middle aged man, severely disabled, walking with great difficulty. He had been arrested two days earlier, suspected of planning a terror attack and transferring funds (to an unlawful organization).
There were 5 cases in the docket, two involving detainees barred from meeting with counsel.
Abed Al-Rahim Ahmad Muhammad Awad – ID 853653095
Defense: Nery Ramati
See previous reportson this case.
The Investigator requests an 8-day remand extension, adding that the case will be transferred to the prosecution by that time. He explains to the judge what progress has been made in the case.
Photos taken during the arrest point to physical injuries .The defense asks to include them in the file in the presence of the judges in charge of the case. This request is held over from previous sessions where the judge specifically requested to add photos.
Today the Investigator answers on behalf of the Inquiry Unit: [from the protocol] “ … As for pictures of the injuries that the judge in the first remand hearing requested: there are photos from the clinic. If the suspect signs a release, we can add them to the file.”
After a few questions, the defense sums up: Up to now the police treated the court’s recommendations as mere ‘suggestions’. A request from 20 days ago to add photos has been ignored.
The defense demands a clear decision from the judge: the case should be transferred to the prosecution and the suspect released.
Judge’s decision: This is the fifth remand extension. The judge explains in great detail the status of the case and extends the remand by 4 days, to conclude the investigation and pass the case to the prosecution. He comments that he does not understand why Justice Motti Schieff’s decision was not carried out. On 28.5.13 Justice Schieff ordered the Investigation Unit to photograph the suspect and include the photos in the file.
The defense notes that his client forgoes the medical confidentiality and allows the Medical Services to include the photos in the investigation material.
Ali Ahmad Ali Salah – ID 911587681
See earlier reportof this case.
The Investigator requests 16 additional days to complete the investigation.
The defense has a few questions: he wants to know what is the cause of arrest.
As on previous occasions, he is referred to confidential files – in other words, he gets no answer.
Defense: What proof is there that the suspect has anything to do with the charge?
Answer [form the protocol]: All the evidence pertaining to the case of the suspect Ali Salah is in the confidential file. There are statements from others. At this stage I am not at liberty to say whether the charges result from incrimination…. The investigation involves many people… the suspects make the investigation difficult.”
Defense: What does “make the investigation difficult” mean?
Answer: They do not cooperate.
The defense sums up: The suspect is 26 years old, a barber by profession. He is asked to incriminate others, and this is why he is kept in detention. His brother in law, who is about to get married, is implicated in this incident. The defense objects to the remand extension.
The judge’s Decision: The investigator admits that there is no progress in this investigation. The defense claims that, based on his client’s statement, there is no evidence against him. The arrest was made on 12.5.13.
The judge orders 8 more days in detention to complete the investigation.
Mahmoud Muhammad Fawzi Salah – ID 8542891
Barred from meeting with his attorney.
Defense: Judd Kadmani
The Investigator requests 16 days remand extension.
Atty. Kadmani cites an earlier protocol that includes the suspect’s statement regarding violations he did not commit. The suspect was very tired and stressed, after long interrogations. The statement was taken after 2 days of sleep deprivation.
The defense wants to know if the fact that Salah admitted to acts he had not done proves that he was under pressure. The repeated answer: It is in the confidential file.
The defense suggests that the intense interrogations are aimed at breaking his client.
The judge asks everyone to clear the court. We produce the usual preliminary injunction issued by the High Court of Justice recommending to allow us, as the public eye, to attend all procedures involving a “barred” detainee - especially during the early stages of the detention. But to no avail: the judge sides with the Investigator: the hearing is conducted behind closed doors.