Ofer - Plea Bargain
Translation: Marganit W.
Atty. Iyad Misk arrived with three activists of EAPPI (Ecumenical volunteers who come here for three months to carry out various missions). Here’s a link to their site: http://eappi.org/en/home.html
The activists sat next to me in Courtroom 7.
Both the judge and the prosecutor were on reserve duty.
Lieut. Yitzhak Unger, a lawyer on reserve duty was in the audience. He was bothered by the fact that the explanation for the activity [in the court] was given only by the attorney and by myself. Later, when we spoke outside, he undertook to do the explaining. He is of the opinion that the military court is very deficient when it comes to publicity. It was amusing to hear one of the activists, who had just finished her three months activity in Hebron, tell him that considering what she had just seen in Hebron, his words were very unconvincing.
Judge: Lieut. Col. Eran Laufmann
Prosecutor: Police Officer Kobi Matza
Defense: Atty. Mahmoud Jubran
Defendant: Ismail Taleb Ahmad Aljabariya – ID 905676763
Following a plea bargain, the defendant was convicted of participating in a rally of an unauthorized organization and of providing services for that organization.
The indictment specifies that in April 2012 the defendant took part in a parade organized by the Al Kutla al-Islamiya student organization, and that same month he was approached by people who enlisted his help in recruiting young girls to vote for Al Kutla al-Islamiya. At that point in the hearing the judge realized that Ismail is a teacher and that he tried to recruit his own students. In the discussion that ensued, the prosecutor demonstrated that he was not familiar with the details. The judge, however, stressed the severity of Ismail’s acts precisely because he is a teacher.
In the end, the judge accepted the plea bargain, although, as he explained, with a heavy heart. There were “evidentiary difficulties” [a common phrase in most plea bargains – N.A.]. He clarified the court’s policy: I quote from the protocol: “For reasons of judicial policy and in order to encourage plea bargains…”
Eventually the sentence handed down was: 45 days in prison, starting with the day of arrest, 7.10.13; 3 months suspended sentence and a 1500 shekel fine.
After the hearing I requested the protocol (since I found the judge’s statements interesting, which is what I told him in response to his questions to me. The prosecutor, who was obviously unhappy with my presence in court from the start, objected vehemently. I mentioned that we often receive the protocol, sometimes on the spot, sometimes from the office. The prosecutor shot back, “Then go to the office!” The judge, however, disagreed and gave me the protocol then and there [It is attached, and I recommend you read it – Hebrew].
My purpose in coming to the court today was to attend the hearing of Titi, a 16 year old from Al-Aroub refugee camp, who has already been in detained for several months. He is represented by Atty. Iyad Misk. The hearing was supposed to start at 13:30. When I arrived at the court, the attorney informed me that the hearing had already taken place: it lasted only a few minutes, since negotiations for an agreement were in progress.
The next hearing is set for 27.11.13.