Ofer - Stone Throwing, Popular Struggle
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Lieut. Col. Ronen Atzmon
Prosecutor: Captain Gilad Peretz
Defense: Attty. Nery Ramati
Jihad Muhammad Rashdi Tamimi – ID. 410741573
Rami Hassin Yusof Ayub – ID 904002813
The two youngsters from Nabi Salah were arrested on charges of rock throwing during the weekly demonstrations. They were released on bail and the prosecution is appealing this decision.
The process that led to their arrest was as follows:
During the demonstrations a soldier (whose job this is) took photos, which were later given to the local commander. An album was made, then was given to the soldiers on the site so they could arrest the rock throwers.
The attorney presents the pictures (taken on two occasions: 14.2 and 7.2), explaining that identification based on these photos is not possible. The photos are the only evidence in the case. Five people were arrested; some of them were released. The defense explains why the photos are problematic: they were presented to Assaf, the soldier who had taken them, on 19.2., and he stated that he had indeed seen the suspects throwing rocks two weeks and also three days earlier.
The soldier’s testimony is from 10.2.14. He was given the photo journal so he could identify the rock throwers, but that photo journal is not in court today – what we have is another brochure with photos with a different date from the one in which it was compiled for the evidence, that is two days after the suspects were arrested. In that brochure, too, no one can say which photos are from 14.2 and which from 7.2.
The prosecutor is visibly upset that the authenticity of the photos is in doubt. He explains that the soldier who is also a photographer was in mortal danger: he is at an unlawful gathering, where riots are taking place, facing slingshots, and yet he takes his life in his hands and photographs! The doubt the defense throws on the veracity of the Commander’s testimony also riles the prosecutor.
From the protocol: “My esteemed colleague claims that the commander’s testimony cannot be trusted – he is in fact saying that an IDF commander is lying! Those people are doing their duty in a dangerous zone: they document and photograph the nefarious rock throwing!”
What can I say? Perhaps only that the reality determines the perception.
The judge took all the evidence with him and handed down his decision in the afternoon. The appeal was rejected: the release on bail remains in place.
Now we wait for the evidentiary trial that is supposed to be based on those same photos.