Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Danger to Regional Security, Remand Extension
We waited until 11:20 at the entrance to the lockup. The door opened every few minutes, and many detainees went into the courtroom. Almost every time, we asked if the judge had arrived, if we could enter, who the presiding judge was, and other questions.
The police officer/bouncer promised that he would ask and told us that we were barred from entering. At a certain point, as we stood beside the door, Menashe Nahum, Court Commander, came out and announced once and for all that it was forbidden to enter, and that we’d have to wait outside. He suggested that we leave our phone numbers, and we’d get a call when the judge arrived.
We didn’t trust his promise and stayed where we were. At 11:15, Judge Dalumy arrived (a reservist), apologized for the delay, and explained that he’d been called away from court in Tel Aviv. We waited along with the prosecutors, the interpreters, and the court reporter. The detainees have all the time in the world. Again the door was slammed in our faces as we saw the judge stroll around. Then from inside, we heard someone say to the investigator, who was supposed to be escorting us, “You have two women here…” The door opened and we were told, “The investigator doesn’t want you in here.”
Naturally we didn’t give up, and after a long back-and-forth dialog, we entered to find the judge, the prosecutors, the interpreters, the court reporter, and the wardens waiting for the police who were trying to find the right key to the room. They didn’t find it. They had to bring in a police locksmith, who succeeded in opening the door.
Investigator Avi Akiva, who was not pleased to see us, silenced us with his first two sentences (those who are not allowed to come - a topic best kept away from, because it has no legal power). Only at 12:15 did they let us in to the remand extension room. We observed four extensions. The cases had no numbers and we couldn’t understand the names.
Detainee no. 1: Accused of activity against state security. “More specific appears classified”; “At the moment I cannot expand upon it” (the investigator). The reply to all of attorney Firas Sabah’s questions was the same: I can’t give any details; it’s confidential.
Sabah: Does the accused deny it?
Akiva: Yes. The investigation is related to the detainee’s activity during the 2006 elections.
Sabah requests the detainee’s release and agreement to appear at any investigation to which he is summoned.
Akiva asks for 22 days.
Dalumy reads the material and decrees: 11 more days.
Prosecutor Jabari is handling of the next two detainees, both of whom have an agreement between the investigator and the prosecutor. Dalumy announces that after reading the files, he agrees to extend one’s remand for 11 days and the other for 16 days, naturally to complete the investigation.
Attorney Avi Baram, attorney for the PA, is handling Atsaf Shahada's case. Shahada has been in detention for 54 days, and the investigator wants to extend his remand.
Neither the accused nor the prosecutor knows the charges, which slightly surprises Dalumy. The verdict: extending Shahada’s remand for four days, during which the investigator seeks to prove a certain fact. When the four days are up, either Shahada is released, or, says the investigator, he will be placed in administrative detention. Baram is angry at this, particularly because it is not within the investigator’s authority to decide on administrative detention.
After consulting with everyone, Dalumy decides on this wording: After four days, release or other channels. Again we were made to leave because again there were “preventees”.