Ofer - Remand Extension, Interrogation of Witness
Translation: Marganit W.
Reminder: the PLO and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (movements that are represented in the Palestinian Legislature) are still considered hostile organizations.
Judge: Major Haim Balilti
Prosecutor: Lieut.-Col Morris Hirsch and Lieut. Nethanel Yakov-Hai.
Defense: Attys. Mahmoud Hassan, Sahar Francis, Auda Zbeidi, Haled Araj.
Defendant: Khalida Kenaan Muhammad Jarrar, ID 946614138 - Case 3058/15
(See earlier reports in Khalida Jarrar’s case)
Despite the short notice informing about the hearing date, many diplomats attended the hearing, which was in fact a political debate.
Khalida Jarrar is a member of the Palestinian legislative body, representing the Popular Front. At the moment 12 other members of parliament are in custody, so we cannot report on the details of the allegations.
The hearing was about her continued detention. It was a lengthy hearing because the defense contested many clauses in the charge sheet.
Muhammad Hassan discussed testimony by various witnesses for the prosecution. One witness referred to the “Popular Front – General Leadership” which is a different organization altogether. It’s headed by Ahmad Jibril and is different and separate from the Popular Front.
Another incriminating witness testified that he was recruited to serve as a clerk at a book fair. You cannot claim that everyone who visits a bookstore is part of an unlawful organization.
Another prosecution witness testified that he had organized a conference where the accused gave a talk, and where the priest Atallah Hana and others also spoke, but none of them was arrested.
It is important to note that the conference in question took place in 2012. Most of the charges, except one from 2014, are from earlier years. For example, one from June 2009: the accused participated in a rally for the release of the secretary of the Popular Front; or visiting a prisoner released in 2010, and similar charges. All these activities are legitimate actions of a political activist.
Atty. Hassan claims that all the material the prosecution and the Shabak (GSS) have, and in fact the entire witch hunt of Khalida Jarrar began after the military commander issued a restraining order that relegated her to Jericho for 6 months. The respondent refused to obey the order and petitioned to the Appellate Court. No decision was given, but in the meantime, the commander decided to shorten the order.
One of the defense’s main arguments speaks of the delay in pressing charges: why is Jarrar prosecuted now for such old violations?
Atty. Hassan also insisted that Ms. Jarrar has parliamentary immunity.
The prosecutor countered that Jarrar is a member of a terrorist organization and this is the core of the charges against her. He also denied that there was a delay in the prosecution, claiming that cumulative investigations and confidential material cause the delay.
Atty. Hassan responded that the confidential material had already been used – a restraining order was issued in Aug.-Sept. 2014 based on that material. At the beginning of her present detention that material was again used when an administrative detention for 6 months was issued.
Is this the same material, the defense asked, or a different one?
If the same confidential material was the basis of the rescinded restraining order - i.e., 8 months before the detention order – this goes against the argument of endangerment.
If all this was known then, and 8 months had passed, it means that the accused was not considered dangerous then. Is she dangerous now?
The judge sided with the defense regarding the delay – since the prosecution knew about the investigation material. Thus, the judge wondered, why wasn’t she detained then?
In the end it was decided to demand – by the following day – a decision regarding confidential testimony that, according to the prosecution, may constitute ground for detention.
Remand extension for 7 days.
The next hearing was set for 18.5.15.