Ofer - Stone Throwing, Remand Extension
Translation: Marganit W.
If one could rate the emotional difficulty of watching the military courts, surely attending trials of minors is the hardest.
Judea Juvenile Court
Judge: Major Etty Adar
Prosecutor: Ashhar Erez
Defense: Atty. Tareq Bargout
Defendant: Muhammad Annis Sami Aldweik, ID 401512181 - Case 3966/13
Muhammad receives the indictment, translated into Arabic, and rejects the allegations. It turns out that in July there was a big demonstration in Azariya. Muhammad was in the area, but he is accused of manufacturing and throwing an incendiary object (i.e., Molotov cocktail).
The defense acknowledges that Muhammad was in the neighborhood, but denies categorically the charge in the indictment.
The prosecutor asks to amend the indictment adding another incriminator (4 altogether). The judge allows it considering the early stage the case is in.
Muhammad has been in detention for 6 days now, yet the defense has not received any material pertaining to the investigation.
An evidentiary hearing is set for 18.8.13 before Lieut.-Col. Sharon Rivlin-Ahai.
There are no words to describe the heartache and tears of Muhammad’s mother and sister.
In Justice (ret.) Hanan Rubinstein’s court, an attorney from the Israeli village of Ivlin is pleading for the first time in Ofer. Indeed, he looks overwhelmed by the reality of the court.
Atty. Aziz Abu Al-Nil is representing Bilal Abu Srur – ID 948853460.
Bilal is a young man, about to get married and working hard to make ends meet.
According to the defense, Bilal bought a fake ID card for 1500 shekels and tried to use it to enter Israel. He was caught at Almog Checkpoint, near Jericho.
There are three charges in the indictment: falsifying an official document, using fake papers and impersonation. The three could be coalesced into one charge, but the prosecutor makes the most of it: the respondent gave his picture to another person, paid him 1500 shekels, then on 16.6.13 used the fake ID at Almog Juncture.
The defense moves for release on bail. Bilal’s brother and a Palestinian employer are present and are willing to sign and vouch for him.
The prosecution, in return, brings up Bilal’s criminal past: three years ago, while working at a mall in Herzliya (where he had also rented an apartment), he presented the police with a false ID. He was detained, photographed, and released on bail. A year later, he was again checked by police in Ramat Hasharon, using a false Israeli ID. In detention, he provided his real identity, was photographed, taken to court in Tel Aviv, then he was released on bail (depositing 5000 shekel in cash). The prosecutor could not figure out why the defendant used false papers for the third time.
There is, however, an explanation – if only the court listened: When the defendant was asked why he used a false ID he replied: I need work. I must make a living.
Needless to say, Bilal was remanded in custody.
Presiding judge: Lieut.-Col. Menahem Lieberman
Prosecutor: Lieut. Asher Silver
Defense: Atty. Nery Ramati
Defendant: Muhammad Ahmad Abu Hashem, ID 859493918 - Case 4038/13
On 17.7.13 Abu Hashem was indicted on a charge of throwing objects (rocks) at an army patrol. In view of his record and despite his young age (17) the defense agreed that there was ground for detention.
However, the defense asked the court to consider an alternative to detention because the evidence against his client was ‘problematic’ and the file contained the record of only one out of at least three interrogations the defendant had undergone.
The judge conceded that there might indeed have been more interrogations or questioning, which went unrecorded, and the whole interrogation process was fraught with doubts and queries (For instance: how did the interrogator know to ask only about ONE rock? Also, Muhammad was not cautioned properly – N.A.) – Still, the criticism did not convince the judge to rule an alternative to detention, and he ordered a remand extension until the conclusion of the legal proceedings.
Arraignment hearing was set for 18.8.13 before Justice Lieut.-Col. Sharon Rivlin-Ahai.