Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Stone Throwing, Shooting
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Lieut.-Col. Menahem Lieberman
Police Investigator: Rabia
A typist, an interpreter and two guards (leading the detainee in, taking off his blindfold and handcuffs and remaining in court until the end of the hearing of this case).
Three attorneys represent the detainees today: Auda Zbeide, Judd Kadmani and Hashem Ma’amoun.
They are retained by various Palestinian associations that assign lawyers to detainees as soon as they are arrested. When the investigation is completed and an indictment is ready, the detainee (or his family) pick the attorney to represent the detainee during the legal proceedings.
Today several detainees are represented by one, two or three of the attorneys present.
There are 9 cases in the docket. One suspect is barred from meeting an attorney and one is a minor. We could not be present during those two hearings.
Most detainees meet their attorney for the first time during the remand hearing. It is a brief encounter taking place in a noisy courtroom with representatives of law and order present: either police or military personnel. Few detainees get to meet their attorney privately while they are detained, when they are suspects and the indictment has not yet been written.
Issa Ahmed Jibril Odeh – ID 853934305
The judge announces that an agreement exists between the defense and the Police Investigator about a 3-day remand extension and transferring the case to the prosecution for an indictment.
Atty. Zbeide confers with the detainee, explaining the terms of the agreement, and the detainee is taken out of the hall. This happened fast before the attendees had time to sit down.
Zakaria Ibrahim Saleh Baduan – ID 946047289
This is Zakaria’s third remand extension. He’s been in detention for more than a month.
The Investigator requests an 8-day extension.
Attys. Ma’amoun and Kadmani confer with their client for a few minutes.
Ma’amoun states that the detainee has given several statements to the police, but since the last remand he had only a very brief interrogation where he was asked by the Shabak [GSS] investigator if he is willing to work for them. Ma’amoun asks the court to review the investigation and consider transferring the case to the prosecution.
The judge cites his recommendation in an earlier hearing to speed up the investigation, which was not done. According to the confidential file, the investigation plan focuses on activity that is not connected to the suspect. Thus the judge concludes that there is no ground for detaining him longer. However, the evidence against him marks him as dangerous, and so the judge extends the remand by 4 days and instructs the court to hand the case over to the prosecution.
Muhammad Arhain Naif Stoff – ID 85434058
The investigator requests a 4-day extension to complete the investigation.
The three attorneys confer with the detainee. He is suspected of throwing rocks.
It turns out that in the last few days he was not interrogated at all. The attorneys ask the judge to make sure the investigation ends in four days.
The judge consults his calendar and has a bright idea: instead of 4-day remand, followed by 4 more days, why not order 8 days, until March 16. “if the investigators finish in 8 days, all the better.” (This is almost a verbatim quote from the judge’s words – H.S.)
The investigator goes out to consult his superior and comes back with an OK: 8 days remand followed by transfer of the file to the prosecution. The attorneys concur and the detainee is led out.
I did not quite understand the consent of the attorneys, the investigators and the judge. Who benefited from an agreement by all concerned when the investigators request a longer detention than was originally suggested?
Muhammad Odeh(no ID given)
The investigator requests a 12-day remand extension.
Muhammad Odeh was arrested 5 days earlier based on informers. He was brought to Ofer, and immediately was brought before a judge. Apparently, he was transferred to the Russian Compound last night or this morning for “the sake of the investigation” to quote the judge.
Atty. Auda Zbeide, representing the detainee, poses many questions to the investigator. He answers a few of them, stating that the detainee is suspected of several violations: throwing explosives and Molotov cocktails and attempts to obtain weapons. He was interrogated by the police and the Shabak and gave a statement admitting the charges against him.
The judge examines the confidential file and states that there is suspicion of serious violations against security in the region and that the requested remand is justified for benefit of the investigation. 12 days will end on Friday, but the detainee is to be brought before the judge on Thursday (which is the customary day for remand extensions.)
Yazan Mustafa Abed-Al Rahman Sharkawi – ID 860151653
The police request 15-day remand extension.
Sharkawi was arrested yesterday.
Last year he was injured in the leg by a bullet which was later extracted by surgery. He still can’t stand on his leg and suffers pain.
His arrest was based on information that he took part in disturbances for about 6 months, until recently. Atty. Kadmani asks why he was not arrested until now, and the investigator replies: for reasons of the investigation.
The judge examines the confidential file and finds confirmation for activity endangering the region and its inhabitants. 15 days will allow enough time for the investigation. He orders medical exams for the detainee within 24 hours.
Lawifat Suleiman(no ID given)
He is a 17 years old, thus a minor. He comes from Beit Ur Tahta.
We were not allowed to stay in the court.
Muhammad Halil Ajram Abu Galia – ID 942967761
The detainee is barred from seeing counsel.
Before he is brought into court, Atty. Ma’amoun – who has not seen him before – asks the investigator about this “barred” detainee. The answers yield the following details: Muhammad comes from the village of Aza’im. He was arrested today at 3 AM (a planned arrest) based on earlier information. He was interrogated by the police and the Shabak and denies the allegations.
The Attorney and the observers have to leave the court when the detainee is brought in.
Ali Ibrahim Ali Hazin – ID 852361724
Ali was arrested yesterday (8.3.15) in the morning. He was interrogated and he denies some of the suspicions against him.
The investigator requests 15-day remand extension.
The judge decides on 11 days until 19.3.15 (Thursday, the day of remand extensions).
Maan Nur Aladin Ahmad Sha‘er – ID 850363151
The investigator requests 15-day remand.
Atty. Zbeide sits with the detainee and talks to him softly. The interpreter is the only one present close to them.
The attorney then asks the investigator about the suspicions against her client.
His answer: trading in combat materiel and attempts to endanger security in the region.
The defense asks for details of past and future interrogations. Partial answers by the investigator and some information provided by the judge (having examined the file) yield a picture of a very harsh investigation. Probably including physical pressure that requested medical intervention.
Maan was interrogated continuously since yesterday afternoon until 4 AM, with one break of less than an hour. This morning, an hour ago (when this is mentioned in court it is about noon) his interrogation resumed and he gave a statement to the police. In the last interrogation he linked himself to some of the suspicions against him. His planned investigation includes 9 more interrogations with specific dates.
The defense claims that her client was sleep deprived. He was sick and a doctor was called in.
The judge counters that the doctor was not summoned because of sleeplessness and fatigue’ but because the detainee suffers from shortness of breath.
The defense sums up: She suspects the interrogators used pressure that may have yielded false confession. She requests the court to apply strict supervision.