Ofer - Shooting, Membership/activity in unauthorized association

Observers: 
Hava Halevi, Mili Mass (reporting)
Feb-9-2015
|
Morning

Translation: Marganit W.

 

In the court of Justice Lieut.-Col. Zvi Heilbronn

 

Muhammad Hajazi Salem Hashalmun, ID 854578226 - Case 1221/15

Muhammad is from Hebron.

The charge: Membership and activity (in an unauthorized organization)

Prosecutor: Lieut. Almaz Aysou

Defense: Atty. Ahlam Haddad

 

The defense reports that the accused denies any connection to the charge. He never met the people cited in the indictment, never consorted with them and never made any plans with them. She requests to set the evidentiary hearing for an early date and to summon Prosecution Witnesses 4 and 5.

Hearing set for 17.2.15 at 14:00.

 

Abed Al Hamid Abed Al Majid Abed Al Hamid Alsharawna, ID 908306657  

Case 1586/14

Prosecutor: Lieut. Almaz Aysou

Defense: Atty. Fadi Qawasme

Charge: Attempted homicide

 

The defense reports that an agreement is in the making to revise the charge sheet. The prosecution rescinded the ‘attempted homicide’ charge (settling on ‘throwing objects’), but the accused is about to undergo surgery on his foot, so the defense requests postponement until April.

Hearing set for 13.4.15.

 

Hearing of sentencing arguments with a three-judges panel:

Justices: Zvi Heilbronn (chair), Major Etty Adar, and Major Haim Balilti

Shadi Gazi Mahajna, ID 908083884 - Case 1573/13

Prosecutor: Lieut. Gali Katlan

Defense: Atty. Fadi Qawasme

Charge: shooting

 

In the previous sentencing hearing it was determined that the charge is not shooting but a traffic violation resulting from negligence.

The defense argued for considering the defendant’s prior record and its relation to the present case. The judges determined that it would not make a difference.

The prosecutor opened with a quotation from the vice president of the Supreme Court (in those days), Mishael Heshin, who argued for stiff penalties in cases of traffic violations that result in death and disability. (Qawasma, in his reply, pointed out that Heshin’s words referred to accidents that resulted in death).

The prosecutor described the accident caused by the defendant: he injured a man at the entrance to a gas station, then hurt another one in the station, despite warning by a worker there. On exiting he injured two policemen, and on the road he hit another person.

The prosecutor claims that the court defined the defendant’s actions as “extreme negligence” adding that it was “criminal negligence”. Hence the prosecution moves for a long and deterrent penalty.

The prosecutor’s arguments were very well constructed, but the judges stopped her several times, commenting that she must not argue against the previous decision (such as that the defendant caused serious injuries – here a short debate ensued about the difference between injuries and serious injuries).

The prosecutor cites a precedent in order to boost her motion for prison time, but Justice Adar points out that there was an appeal in the cited case and the defendant got a lighter penalty. As for another precedent cited, the defense argued that the case is irrelevant. The prosecutor countered by invoking security forces’ right to special protection while carrying out their duties, and asked the court to revoke the defendant’s driver’s license and confiscate his car.

The defense argued that much of the prosecutor’s arguments were irrelevant. He cited several sentences where only driver’s licenses were revoked. The defendant has had a license for ten years, and this was his first traffic violation. In such cases, he argued, there are two considerations:

1. The extent of the negligence and 2. The severity of the damage inflicted.

He concedes the negligence, but says it is not extreme negligence.

Justice Balilti points out that the court decision called it  severe negligence.

The attorney says he has cited precedents where the negligence was much worse than in this case. The defendant drove slowly and was fiddling with the radio dial. As for damages, the two policemen were taken to hospital and were immediately released and told to rest at home. None of the injured suffered permanent disability. The court orders prison time only in cases of extreme negligence that results in damages and disability. In other cases, the court orders light penalties of 6-months community service. In more severe cases, the court just revokes the license.

The defense moves to release the defendant immediately, with revocation of his driver’s license for as long as the court sees fit. There is no reason to confiscate the vehicle. But he adds that perhaps there is room to impose a suspended sentence.

Justice Heilbronn asked the prosecutor if she intended to appeal. The prosecution had no response to this. At first the judge said there would be no decision today, but when the defense pointed out that the defendant had been in detention for 11 month (!!!)  the judge said they would try to hand down a decision today.

Justice Adar asked if the prosecution intended the prison time to coincide with time already served, but the prosecutor had no answer for that either. The judge added that the prosecution had to be prepared for any decision.

In his summation, the judge told the prosecution that it must not “set aside” the earlier court decision (in view of the judges’ comments to the prosecutor earlier). I gathered from this that the prosecution was still voicing its arguments as if there was no revised charge on which the decision was based. The prosecution seemed to ignore the decision and act as if shewas conduction the trial, ignoring the possibility that the court would not accept the prosecution’s arguments. The prosecution had no answer regarding the issue of overlapping of prison sentence and time already served (in view of the prosecutions request for a long and deterrent penalty), and she did not address the question of appeal, as if it was obvious that the court would side with her so there would not be need for appeal.

 

Shukri Mahmoud Muhammad Hawaja, ID 953120375 - Case 5706/14

Charge: membership and activity in a unautharize organization

Prosecutor: Lieut. Almaz Aysou

Defense: Atty. Labib Habib

 

The defense stated that he had learned about a plea of privilege in this case only the day before, and that he planned to appeal it. He requested a postponement.

The hearing was set for 16.3.15.

(The appeal against the plea of privilege is brought before the appeals panel in this court).

 

Muhammad Salem Mahmoud Sabah, ID  860123900 -  Case 1433/15

Charge: throwing objects

Prosecutor: Lieut. Almaz Aysou

Defense: Atty. Muhammad Shaheen

 

There was no translation [into Arabic] of the indictment.

The judge asks the defendant if he knows what the charge is and if he understands it. The defendant says yes.  He asks Atty. Shaheen to tell the court that he wants to be represented by another attorney, Haled Al-Araj.

The hearing is set for 24.3.15.

Atty. Shaheen is supposed to update Atty. Al-Araj and make sure that he gets the protocol.

 

Muatez Ali Nimer Hamamra, ID 853668614  - Case 7294/14

Charge: attempted homicide

Prosecutor: Lieut. Almaz Aysou

Defense: Atty. Muhammad Shaheen

The defense has not yet reached an agreement with the prosecution about revising the indictment. The Atty. requests a postponement to 24.3.15. If they don’t reach an agreement by that date, there will be an evidentiary hearing.

 

Muhammad Jamil Hassan Kafaya, ID 852843481 - Case 5705/14

Charge: membership and activity [in an unauthorized organization]

Prosecutor: Lieut. Almaz Aysou

Defense: Atty. Labib Habib

 

The defense asked to be released from representing the defendant (it was not immediately clear if this was done at the defendant’s request).

The next hearing is set for 16.3.15.

Atty. Jawad Boulos was appointed defense in this case.