Ofer - Release on Bail, Stone Throwing
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Lieut. Colonel Hanan Rubinstein
Prosecutor: Police Officer Daniel Dambitz
Defense: Atty. Munther Abu Ahmad
Ali Muhammad Abel-Rahman Safi - ID 860145820
Ali Safi, from Jilazoun Refugee Camp, has been in jail for 20 days, charged with rock throwing. The hearing concerns a request for release on bail.
The prosecutor invokes the risk the defendant poses, since he was part of a group that threw rocks. In legalese he explains: when you have a group, the danger is multiplied.
However, as in many other cases, when the details of the case are presented, the picture looks different: the incident took place 5 months ago (why is the hearing only now? God knows). The judge concludes that rocks were indeed hurled at a military jeep, but it is not clear from what distance, and it is confirmed that the rock did not damage the jeep.
Apart from the defendant’s statement to the police, there is no corroborating evidence.
I wonder how Ali, who is a mechanic and works in construction [and here the prosecutor calls to the attorney: “Then let him fix your car!”] was arrested on charges of rock throwing 5 months ago, and what made him confess to the police.
The judge agrees to release him under the following conditions:
3000 shekel bail, backed by guarantee by his brother, who was present in court.
The next hearing is set for 9.6.14
There were several hearings of people caught staying illegally inside Israel. In one case a decision had been given the week before, but it was not made public. 500 shekels have already been posted. The defendant’s sister in law is a resident of Issawiya with a blue ID card. She is willing to vouch for the bail. The prosecutor objects.
The judge allows four phone calls to ensure that the sister in law will report to the next hearing, so the court could form an opinion about her.
Another detainee objects to being represented by Atty. Abdullah Merar: he wants a lawyer from the Prisoners’ Association. Protocol dictates that the family approach the Prisoners’ Association, but the detainee declares that he lives alone in the Jericho area and has no family.
Remand is extended until tomorrow to allow contact with the Prisoners’ Association.
An unusual hearing ensued involving a Palestinian from Azzariya accused of battering his wife. There is evidence and photos of the wounds the woman sustained.
The prosecutor is a police officer (I assume he is from Maale Adumim Police). The woman lives in Wadi Jozz, which means she has a blue ID card.
Atty. Abu Ahmad (who was not the defendant’s attorney) says a person with a blue ID can lodge a complaint anywhere in the country. The file is later transferred to the regional police station.
I asked why the Palestinian Police (which has jurisdiction over Area B, where Azzariya is) was not involved, and he replied that the Palestinian police is not allowed to interrogate Israelis – hence a blatantly civil case comes before the military court.
The judge decides on a 2000 shekel bond and issues a restraining order for 30 days, forbidding him to come within 500 meters of his wife and children in Wadi Jozz.
The next hearing is a request for alternative to detention in the case of a man accused of arms possession and trading.
The prosecutor explains that during a military operation to locate weapons, the defendant was found in possession of a double-barrel gun (in fact, a hunting rifle –N.A.), 18 bullets and a Japanese knife.
Atty. Muhammad Shadfan was very impressive in his arguments. He spoke in Arabic arguing that the first count – arms trading – should be struck down: it never happened. As for the charge of possession, the detainee admits that four years ago he purchased a hunting rifle for 5000 shekels to protect his chicken coop and cowshed. He has never used the gun, and even if a thief had come, he would shoot in the air.
The detainee is 22 and in a few days – on 23.5 – he is getting married. The attorney produces a wedding invitation. The family lives in Dura.
The defendant’s father and uncle are present in court. The father explains to the court – in good Hebrew – that he is a merchant.
The judge orders release under these conditions:
7500 shekel deposit; 2 guarantors, 5000 shekel each – the father and the uncle.
At the end of the hearing the judge explains to the father amiably that he too had a gun, but since he did not use it, he returned it to the authorities, because a license costs money and it’s a waste.
Here, again, we see the disconnect between the court and what happens on the ground: referring to the judge’s comment, the father explains that Dura is in Area C “and who do you think will give us a gun permit, even if it is to protect our property?”