Ofer - Women, Membership/activity in unauthorized association
Translation: Marganit W.
Opening of the trial of Khalida Jarrar, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council
(See earlier reports on this case)
We gathered again at the courthouse yard: diplomats, journalists, family members, friends and political activists. This time, Khalida’s two daughters, who study abroad, joined us.
Deputy president Justice Zvi Heilbronn began the process called arraignment, which initiates the trial.
Atty. Mahmoud Hassan reported that all the prosecution’s evidence is in the file. However, during the raid on Jarrar’s house, laptops, IPad and a hard disk were confiscated. The question is: Does the prosecution intend to use material from these devices or not. If not, will the devices be returned?
Another question concerns confidential material, since to this day no ‘confidentiality document” has been issued.
In addition, the defense has preliminary arguments that it intends to submit within a week.
Needless to say, Khalida Jarrar denies all the allegations, hence an evidentiary hearing will be conducted.
The charges include participation in rallies and visiting a released prisoner. In essence, whatever she did was a function of her position as an elected official.
The prosecution said it would reply to the question about confidential material within a week.
In his decision, the judge stated that the prosecution should reply to the defense’s arguments within a week and that it should issue a ‘confidentiality document; as soon as possible.
The defense asked not to set any hearings for Mondays, as Mondays are visiting days in prison. A propos visits, Khalida’s husband was himself a prisoner many years ago, so he is barred from visiting her.
The reaction around the world to Jarar’s predicament and the constant presence of diplomats and media during the hearings have an effect on the conduct of the court: family members were able to sit in the front row and Khalida’s daughters were allowed to hug her at the end of the hearing. Uncharacteristically, her feet, as well as her hands, were free of restraint this time. Normally, only two members of family are allowed in court during the hearing, and they must sit in the back row. Any contact, even a handshake, is unthinkable.