Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Holding and trading of combat materiel, Remand Extension
Translator: Marganit W.
Judge: Major Sigal Turjeman
Police Investigator: Warrant Officer Radi Hatib
Interpreter, typist, male and female wardens
The room was packed. There were 7 suspects on the list, 3 are barred from seeing an attorney. Some names were incomplete and only one of the 7 detainees had an ID number.
Muhammad Hussein Uda Bahiri – ID 9575455346
He was arrested on the 5th or 6th of August - we could not verify the date.
He was on the suspects list on 7.8.14 when Nitza Aminov and myself were in the Russian Compound, but we missed the hearing because we were delayed.
He was brought in again on 11.8 for remand extension. Tova reported on the hearing.
Bahiri is represented by Avi Baram. This is Muhammad Bahiri’s third remand extension. On 7.8 it was extended by 9 days. On 11.8 (Tova’s report), Justice Lieberman ended up deciding on a 72-hour remand. Today is the third extension.
Defense: Since then you have not interrogated him?
Investigator: He was interrogated on 11.8 and later again.
Defense: Did he take a polygraph test? Did he link himself to the attack?
Investigator: He did not change his version.
Defense: What else is needed for the investigation?
Investigator: I will not detail the investigation plan. In Section 4 of the confidential file there are 11 interrelated clauses of investigation steps.
Defense: Are there other suspects in this case? There is no evidence that the suspect is involved in the stabbing. He can be interrogated after his release. There is no need to continue the investigation, certainly not while he is in detention. The police have a film recording the incident.
Judge: There is very limited progress and no evidence of his involvement. If a film exists, I would like to see it before I hand down my decision.
After we left, the judge ordered a 6-day remand extension.
Atty. Avi Baram appealed the detention decision. The appeal hearing took place on Sunday, 17.8.14 in the afternoon before Justice Zvi Lekah. The appeal was rejected and Bahiri remained in detention. Two days later, on 19.8 the defense appealed the court’s decision. This time it was accepted and two days later, on 21.8., Bahiri was released.
The prosecution appealed and the decision is still pending. We’ll follow up.
Kafah Mansour Ali Mansour – ID 411018989
Defense: Atty. Lymor Goldstein
We attended an earlier remand extension and appeal of the decision from 7.8.14 (see report).
Mansour was brought in, his handcuffs and blindfold were removed, and Atty. Goldstein spoke with him for a few minutes.
The Investigator requests a 12-day remand extension to complete the investigation and hands a confidential file to the judge. The judge comments sternly that the charge “damage to security in the region” is too broad.
The defense asks the investigator about the suspect’s involvement in the crime, and gets no answer. He then asks specific questions about the planned interrogation: Was such-and-such action taken? If not, why not? Why isn’t there corroborating testimony to a statement from 10.8.? Does the respondent confess? Most answers refer to the confidential file and the updated report given to the judge earlier today.
The judge is not pleased: she complains about the lack of specificity and sends the investigator to his superiors to obtain specific details about planned interrogations: how many and how much time they require. When the investigator returns, he tells the court what the expected actions are and that they each require two days.
In his summation Atty. Goldstein states that Mansour has been in detention for 7 days now, and yet the investigators cannot prove the suspicions against him. Most of the time he used his right to remain silent. Apparently, the aim is to pressure him to link himself and others to the suspicions. The detainee reported that an interrogator grabbed him by the chin, shook him, yelled at him, threatened and humiliated. He told him he would be given shit to eat. The defense is planning to lodge a complaint about it. The attorney reiterated that the alleged suspicions do not constitute risk and his client can be released. He asks the court to reject the remand request and order his client’s release.
From the judge’s decision we learn that Mansour is suspected of causing damage to the power infrastructure (this violation is specified in the appeal heard on 10.8.14. (H.S.) The judge repeats a decision from an earlier hearing, stating that there is objective evidence. Having checked the planned investigation with relevant agents, she decides on an 5-day remand, until 19.8.14.
The judge warns the defense that appealing this decision may hamper the investigation and delay its completion. (in other words, she advices him: Give up this time.) (H.S.)
On Tuesday, 19.8.14, at Ofer Military Court, Justice Shmuel Kedar released Kafah Mansour.
Shadi Darajma (barred from seeing Atty. Louai Okah).
We attended the hearing while the suspect was not present.
The judge examines the file and tells the investigator firmly that he cannot request a 15-day remand for a detainee barred from seeing an attorney. The Police Investigator, who presents the cases, serves as a messenger for those in charge of the investigation and he does not have answers to the judge’s queries. The judge continues to criticize and reprimand. She wants someone to explain to the court before the day is done how come a “barred” detainee is in custody for 15 days without judicial review. She complains that the file was sloppily compiled: it is too vague and unspecified. The judge cannot gauge how much time is needed for the investigation if the details are not specific. She cites her experience in military courts in Petah Tiqwa, Kishon and Ashkelon, where files are well prepared. Here at the Russian Compound the case is just not ready. She demands explanations from those familiar with the cases.
Defense: Atty. Firas Sabah
Suleiman is accused of possessing and trading in combat materiel.
The investigation is complete and the case is transferred to the prosecution for an indictment. There is agreement about a 5-day remand extension, until 19.8.14.
Muhammad Hassan Badran – ID 411360456
Badran was arrested in the night and was brought in dressed in regular clothes. He is suspected of activity endangering security in the region.
The prosecution requests a 15-day remand extension.
Defense: Atty. Louai Okah.
Defense: What are the charges against him?
Investigator: For the sake of the investigation I will not specify. Everything will be presented to the accused when he is brought to interrogation.
Defense: 15 days is not too much?
Judge: Yes, it is a lot.
Defense: Does he have a record?
The defense objects to the police’s request. This is a first extension. His client does not have a record; he works for the Palestinian Authority in an anti-corruption campaign. I need to examine the material in his file. I demand his release, or at least a curtailment of the investigation.
Judge: At this stage there is justification for investigation. In view of the paucity of information, there is room for increased judicial review. After a few days of investigation, an extension may be granted.
Decision: he will remain in custody until Tuesday 19.8.14
In the hallway we saw two “barred” detainees whose cases (both defense and investigator) we were not allowed to hear. One of them, Oudai Lusionamer (the name was not written clearly) was in a wheelchair. He is suspected of possessing combat materiel (this we found out in the hallway). The other one, Muhammad Rabbiya had a stained and bruised face. On Thursday 21.8.14 we saw him again and he told us of harsh torture he had undefgone during the interrogations.
[See report from the Russian Compound on 21.8.14]