Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Holding and trading of combat materiel, Danger to Regional Security

Observers: 
Hagit Shlonsky, Hava Halevi (reporting)
03/07/2014
|
Morning

Translation: Marganit W.

 

Judge: Shmuel Fleischmann

Police Investigator (who takes detaineesinfo-icon’ statements and present cases at remand extension hearings): Afif Awida

Defense: Iliya Theorody, Firas Sabah, Luaai Oka

Interpreter

Typist

 

There are ten detainees in the docket, 8 are barred from seeing an attorney. In those “barred” cases we attended only the parts where the defense cross-examined the Investigator. In our report we addressed what is euphemistically called “methods of interrogation”. Bear in mind that the detainees fast during Ramadan.

The two detainees not barred from seeing their attorney got a very short shrift by the court: the judge accepted the agreement between the Investigator and the defense regarding the remand extension.

 

Majdi Muhammad Nagib Mefargia – ID 910639581

The investigation has been concluded and the case transferred to the military prosecution. Still his detention was extended by 5 days with the concurrence of the defense, the Investigator and the judge.

 

Jamal Abed AlJalik Yusuf Abu Salem – ID 902854363

Defense: Fares Sabah, who represented all the other detainees as well.

On 30.6.14 Roni and Tova reported on Jamal Abu Salem’s hearing. There was agreement on 4-day extension of his remand and the case went to the prosecution. If there is need for another extension, due to developments in the investigation, he will be brought to court again. We did not hear how long the remand extension was.

“Interrogation of necessity” or the necessity to interrogate.

Today we learned a new term” Interrogation of necessity” – one that includes beating and tormenting the detainee in order to extract information. These interrogations are approved by the authorities. In fact, it is another way of saying “moderate physical pressure.”

On Sept. 6 1999 The High Court of Justice published its decision  [http//hamoked.org.il/items/260.pdf] regarding several appeals against the Israeli government and the SHABAC [GSS]: it forbade the use of interrogation techniques that use physical coersion and torture. This decision changed the existing legal practices that governed that SHABAC’s interrogation of terror suspects.

The HCJ concluded that the SHABAC does not have the legal authority to use physical interrogation methods that go beyond “reasonable, decent” methods and that inflict pain on the suspect. And yet, the justices stated that SHABAC interrogators who exceeded their authority and used physical pressure do not bear criminal culpability if it can be argued that they acted in the “appropriate circumstances”.

In the years since that decision, instead of stopping the illegal torture, the SHABAC devised the “Interrogation of necessity” process, which is in fact an a priori authorization to interrogators to use illegal, excessive physical methods.

During today’s hearing we envisaged in our mind an interrogator trying to extract info from a detainee: when it failed, the interrogator called his superior asking authorization for specific procedures. This scenario was not described in the hearing. The defense asked if the detainee had been subjected to “interrogation of necessity”. The question was not answered, but neither was it rejected by the investigator. The judge, too, did not dismiss the question.

 

Diab Mustafa Diab Nasser – 853090389 – barred from seeing an attorney.

On 23.6.14, Roni Hammermann and Tova Szyntuch reported on the EIGHTH remand extension of this detainee. It was then extended by four more days. We attended the NINTH extension. In the past Diab was convicted in another case – he was detained for a long time, charged with planning to kidnap a soldier and confessed. Today he is barred from seeing an attorney. The new charges are contained in a confidential file before the judge. Afif Awida, who took the statement – during or after the interrogations -  asked for an extension until the conclusion of the procedures. Diab is suspected of kidnapping, military activity and possession of combat materiel.

Asked by the defense what are the charges against his client, Awida answered with the usual clichés: endangering security in the region and military activity.

How many time was he interrogated?

Twice, (perhaps twice since the last remand extension).

Do you mean to use “interrogation of necessity”?

I don’t know. It is not in the record.

 

Abed Alkarim Sadi Ahmad Qawasme – ID 92151183 – Barred from seeing an attorney.

On 23.6.14 Hagit reported on this Russian Compound case.

The Qawasmes are a large, well known family from Hebron. The detainee was under administrative arrest for a month. He was suspected of receiving information about weapons and military activity from the Palestinian Authority. He was arrested on 22.6.14 and interrogated, he reports, about old charges, not about membership and activity in Hamas. He lives in the same neighborhood as the suspects in the murder of the three Israeli youths, and perhaps his arrest is connected to those suspicions.

We learned that the detainees have to undergo a polygraph test during their investigations.

The defense asked: Are there new allegations?

Yes! The new suspicions are: Using mothers (?????), military activity, aiding Hamas and supplying information.

What does “using mothers” mean?

The judge explains that they use mothers to transfer money from Jordan. He added:

Wouldn’t it better to take the mom on a trip instead? This implied some criticism of the treatment of mothers in Palestinian society: they are used in dangerous, illegal activity, instead of being treated to trips and entertainment. I had many comments on this: I thought of all the “fun places” open to them and of other women who took part in national liberation movements. It is not clear if we are dealing here with an isolated case of a mother suspected of transferring money or with several cases.

In examination, Abed Alkarim Qawasme said he had no ties to Hamas. Some of his neighbors, though, are members.

Does he cooperate with the investigation? (Namely, do his answers satisfy the interrogator?)

He made a statement to the police. (It is not clear from his answer if he cooperated with the interrogators. Only the judge, who reads the confidential file, knows.

Was he confronted with other detainees?

The answer is in the confidential file.

 

Othman Muhammad Abed AlKader Qawasme – ID 9416276689 – Barred from seeing an attorney.

He was arrested on 19.6.14. His detention was extended on 23.6.14. Today is the last day that he is prevented from seeing an attorney.

He too was subjected to polygraph. The Investigator requests 12 more days to conclude the investigation. Qawasme has not been interrogated in the last few days.

The defense asks: Why was he not interrogated in the last few days?

It is in the confidential file.

What was he interrogated about?

Kidnapping and murder (of the three Israelis)

How is he connected?

In the confidential file.

Is there any indication that he is connected?

The confidential file.

How often was he interrogated?

Here the judge answers. He consults the file and says: About ten times (in 4-5 days). Then he hands down his decision: I examined the confidential file, the dates of the interrogations and the secret reports. There is reasonable suspicion that ties him to military activity in the region.

Decision: remand extension of 8 days, until 10.7.14.

The arrest is connected to the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens. The detainee, according to his attorney, lives in the same neighborhood of the suspected killers, and this is why he is detained and interrogated.

 

Abed AlKarim Muhammad Suleiman Rashid Abu Ramoz – ID 938398229. Barred from seeing an attorney. He is suspected of military activity and aiding and abetting an unlawful association. During routine questions Atty. Fares asked the Investigator about moderate physical pressure – now euphemistically called “Interrogation of necessity”.

Atty. Firas: Are you done with the investigation?

Yes.

Did he confess?

It’s in the confidential file.

Was he interrogated by the SHABAC?

More than five times.

Does this means there are no additional suspicions, beyond the first version?

No, this means nothing.

The detainee claims he underwent “interrogation of necessity” and was beaten during his first interrogation. Is it true?

There was no answer to this question. The defense states that this detainee and other detainees claim that they were beaten during the interrogation.

We, as observers, wondered: What does  “beaten” mean? How? How often? When? How many torturers were there?

 

Muhammad Fouad Nofel Adoyan – ID 850865304. Barred from seeing an attorney.

Muhammad was brought to the detention center from prison, where he is under administrative detention and on hunger strike for 60 days now. He needs constant medical treatment. He is suspected of planning activities against security in the region.

The defense asks: Only planning?

It’s in the confidential file.

Security or military activity?

Both (but he is under administrative detention).

How often has he been interrogated? Was it continuous?

Five times. 15 more are scheduled.

Was he interrogated about activity inside the prison?

In the confidential file.

Was he arrested based on intelligence or evidence?

Based on material that’s in the confidential file.

The defense requests shortening the remand to five days. The judge decides on 15 days.

 

Mussa Majdi Mussa Hatib – ID 850839119. Barred from seeing an attorney.

Shukri Mahmoud Muhammad Hawaja – ID 953120375  Barred from seeing an attorney.

This is his second remand extension. In this hearing we encountered another whitewashed term: “continuous interrogation”.

Hawaja is under administrative detention and was brought here from jail. He has been interrogated 36 times  (we don’t know in how many days). The attorney states that the detainee has medical problems and he asks the court to address them. The conditions of his imprisonment are harsh and cruel and he has been interrogated harshly, in a ”continuous interrogation”. The judge says, No, not continuous interrogation. He leafs through the file at leisure and says, Look, here he had an hour and a half break, and here again half an hour etc. Thus 36 times.

“Continuous interrogation” must be Newspeak for sleep deprivation.

Then came the usual questions:

Did he undergo “Necessary Interrogation”? (i.e., was he beaten in addition)

It’s in the confidential file.

Was he confronted with others?

In the confidential file.

Does he cooperate with the interrogators?

I can’t answer that.

Is he suspected of kidnapping?

It’s in the confidential file.