Ofer - Stone Throwing, Holding and trading of combat materiel
Translation: Marganit W.
Justice Meir Vigisser’s Court
Prosecutor: Racheli Aviv
Tarek Ismail Abed Al-Rahman Shahin, ID. 852825645 - Case 2912/13
Charge: Membership and activity [in an unlawful organization]
Alaa Mahmoud Ahmad Muhssen, ID 853525289 - Case 3386/13
Charge: Providing services [to an unlawful organization]
The judge dealt with both defendants as one case. The hearing, however, was cancelled because Atty. al-Araj was on strike.
Tarek’s father was in court and addressed the judge, telling him that his son had already been detained for three months. The hearing had already been postponed a couple of times because witnesses did not show up and now it is postponed again. Tarek wants to begin his studies at the university and the postponement will prevent it. In the end he will be acquitted and this long detention will have been for nothing.
The judge set the hearing for next week (19.8.13)
In Alaa’s case, Witness No. 2 (who is in detention) was scheduled to testify. He was able to come to court today, but the hearing did not take place. Witness No. 3 is not in detention. He had not shown up for three hearings in Tarek’s case. The prosecution showed documents indicating that the witness had been summoned again and again.
The court ordered a subpoena for Witness No. 3 for a hearing on 19.8.13.
Tair Muhammad Yussuf Rabia – ID 851735746 Case No. 3752/13
Charge: Throwing objects (rocks)
The defense (al-Araj) did not show up. A translated indictment will be given to the defense and to the defendant and will be read next week. Thus, the trial is officially open.
The hearing will take place on 19.8.13
Hazem Falah Awad Natshe, ID 915138960 - Case 3695/13
Charge: Possessing and trading in combat materiel.
The defendant is privately represented by Atty. al-Araj (this is why the attorney is not on strike in this case), but the attorney has not come to court yet. Apparently a plea bargain is in place and the attorney is expected to present it to the court. Atty. al-Araj arrived in court during recess.
We have been trying for sometime to follow the ongoing trial of Ayman Nasser, the researcher for Adameer, but with no success. The last few times we were here the prisoner was brought to court, but Atty. Mahmoud Hassan requested postponements.
Background: On the night of 15.10.12 Ayman’s Nasser’s house was broken into. You can read what happened to him in the Russian Compound and at Megiddo Prison in our report from 17.12.12. Ayman is accused of membership and activity in the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]: he is alleged to have provided services and donated 200 shekels to arrange transportation for a demonstration commemorating Prisoners’ Day. Another charge uses the usual terminology, “On 17.12.12 or thereabout he attended some assembly of an unauthorized organization…” You can read other reports on our site: one from an evidentiary hearing on 31.12.12 and another one from 4.3.13 during which the defense presented an alibi: Ayman did not attend the demonstration since at that time he was at the bank. The bank manager is willing to testify.
Judge: Major Meir Vigisser
Prosecutor: Captain Racheli Aviv
Defense: Atty. Mahmud Hassan
Defendant: Ayman Ahmad Nasser, ID 981581069 - Case 3303/13
This was supposed to be the sentencing hearing. Ayman’s brother and a friend who were in court hoped he would be going home.
Atty. Mahmoud Hassan told the court that there was an offer from the prosecution and he had passed it on to Ayman. But he was unable to attend one of the hearings, so Atty. al-Araj was given power of attorney to negotiate with the prosecution. The power of attorney included instruction not to accept a revised indictment, but only to pass the offer on to Mahmoud Hassan to consider it together with Ayman. Atty. al-Araj, however, acted independently and accepted a revised indictment. Atty. Hassan asked to rescind the decision and to revert back to the previous position. The defense added that based on the defendant’s admission in the revised indictment, the court was exposed pre-maturely to a penalty.
The defense’s request angered the judge and the prosecutor. The latter objected to the defendant’s recantation, urging the judge to stand his ground and to proceed to ‘arguments for penalty’.
The judge countered that the trial had dragged long enough and he saw no problem with the three admission clauses in the revised indictment. The judge added that he was considering imposing fines for legal expenses.
The most problematic clause is probably the alibi: the claim that Ayman Nasser was at the bank at the time he is alleged by the prosecution to have been at the demonstration. There is a video from the bank security cameras. The prosecutor insisted the bank send a witness to verify the video. The defense agreed and asked to postpone the hearing until the following day (Wednesday). However, the judge’s schedule for the next day was full, so it was determined that after the recess the court would announce if the hearing was to resume on Thursday, 15.8.13.
Outside the court I spoke to Nasser’s brother and got his phone number in order to find out about the next hearing. That night he informed me that the hearing would resume on 26.8.13.