Ofer - Stone Throwing, Shooting
Translation: Marganit W.
At 9:30, when I arrived, the courtyard was filled with detainees’ relatives, and a large group of attorneys was waiting outside. It turned out that there was a power cut in the entire area, and it took quite a while until the attorneys were let in, and then the families, by dribs and drabs.
Not all courtrooms were operating.
In the Remand Extension Hall detainees were admitted, then immediately taken out when the judge realized that the families had not yet been admitted.
A generator operated noisily, making it hard to follow the discussions.
Judge: Lieutenant-Colonel Menahem Lieberman
Prosecutor: Captain Avishai Kaplan
Defense: Atty. Ahlam Hadad
Mahmoud Ahmad Muhammad Zahran, ID 854711017 - Case 2917/13
Mahmoud Zahran is accused of membership and activity in an unlawful organization.
Atty. Hadad requested a postponement since negotiations were in progress regarding another case that had connection to Zahran’s case.
Justice Lieberman was displeased, saying that the case had been dragging since December 2012 and progress needed to be made.
Atty. Hadad cited her client’s claim that two interrogators, Amnon and Eyal, pressured him and dictated a statement about Muhammad Zahran and Ahmed Zahran; they threatened not to let him out of solitary confinement until he signed the statement. Police informers dictated to him 50 names, forcing him to say that they all belonged to the Popular Front; then they returned him to the GSS interrogators.
The prosecutor agreed to a postponement: if no agreement was reached, the prosecution would present a list of witnesses.
The next hearing was set for 26.11.13.
Atty. Al-Araj represent two detainees:
Muhammad Abdel Fatah Aarabi Rajbi, ID 850790049 - Case 1753/13
Ahmad Muhammad Jihad Said Sharbati, ID 854233277 - Case 1744/13
Both are accused of shooting at a person.
Atty. Al-Araj thought agreements would be reached in both cases and requested a postponement.
The next hearing was set for 8.12.13.
In September 2011 rocks were thrown on Rte. 60 at a passing vehicle: the vehicle turned over killing a father and son of the Palmer family.
On 2.4.13 Waal Araja and Ali Saada were convicted of the killing.
We had met the Palmer family and their friends several times before when came to the hearings. They always carried photos of their relatives and waved them in court.
Decision was supposed to be handed down today in the following cases:
Hassan Bajes Muhammad Alsheich Saada – ID 906393053 Case No.5177/11
Ayad Bajes Muhammad Albo - ID 913172524 Case No. 5194/11
Charge: Attempted homicide
Both were represented by Atty. Haled Al-Araj.
Justice Lieberman was joined by Justice Major Meir Vigiser and Justice Major Hilit Bar-On Bieber.
Justice Vigiser said he would not read the entire decision, and yet we were given a very learned explanation about how the judges had reached their decision (Justice Bar-On was in the minority) to accept the changes in the indictment – there is a psychological component, a need for intentionality etc. Intention should be demonstrated on two levels: mental: the accused foresaw or anticipated the lethal outcome; and an intentional level: the perpetrator wanted to carry out the crime [i.e. to cause death].
At the end of the statement it was specified that Ali and Wael, who had already been convicted, did indeed mean to cause death, while the accused, Hassan Saada, was not part of the plot, and his superficial interrogation leaves doubts about his role.
In the end it was decided to acquit Hassa Saada of the charges in the indictment and to convict him of throwing rocks.
The session continued after the recess but I did not stay. I asked Atty. Al-Araj later for his assessment of what the penalty might be and he said he could not answer because we both noted that Justice Lieberman, after saying the accused would be convicted for throwing rocks, added that the penalty might be 20 years.
The continuing hearing in the case of the boy Halil Kariya (last reported on 13.10.13) was scheduled to take place today. I spoke to his parents in the yard. They told me that they had replaced Atty. Tarek Bargout with Atty. Al-Araj. Since I could not stay after the recess, I spoke to Atty. Al-Araj who told me that he intended to ask for a postponement. Before undertaking the case, he had explained to the parents that a plea bargain must be arranged. There were several incriminators involved, he said, and there were 15 cases of Molotov cocktail throwing. If they took the risk of an evidentiary trial, the boy might get a sentence of 7 years in jail.
That night I called Mrs. Kariya to find out the date of the next hearing. It is set for 20.11.13. She told me that they had been able to see Halil for only two minutes.