Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Shooting, Remand Extension
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Arye Dorani
Police Investigator: Mr. Radi (Radi refuses to disclose his last name. We tried to press him, arguing that as a representative of the public he is obliged to identify himself, but he declined, citing "private reasons" for not disclosing his identity. He wouldn't let us read the protocols vain to find his name).
Defense: Attys. Maamoun Hashim and Fahmi Shkirat
There were 7 cases in the docket, one of them was a detainee "barred from meeting with his attorney".
But of all six cases where the detainees were not "barred" only one was discussed in court, in the remaining cases an agreement had been reached between the sides for a 7-day remand extension for three of them, and 9 day-remand extension for two. These files will be handed over to the military prosecution.
Justice Dorani asked each detainee: Did you have breakfast? Any medical complaint? Did the interrogators treat you well?
Two of the detainees complained of medical problems. One has a heart and lungs condition and uses an inhaler - though it is the wrong bottle - and the other one has an eye infection. Another detainee complained of headaches caused by the "red light" in his cell, which is never turned off.
Justice Dorani turns to the defense and says: "It's a good thing I asked, or we'd never know about these medical problems." Atty. Hashim replies that he has brought up the medical problems in previous hearings, but the jail authorities does not treat his request for medical care seriously and the detainee has only been seen by a GP, not by a specialist.
As for the treatment by the investigators - three detainees reported that the abuse they suffered was not physical but verbal: there was much cursing during the interrogation.
The First Detainee (represented by Atty. Shkirat)
The police request a 15-day remand extension. The man has been in detention since 15.9.10 on charges of "activity endangering security in the area". "Beyond that," says Radi, the police investigator, "I cannot elaborate. The info is in the classified file."
The defense had questions regarding the status of the investigation: has the detainee linked himself to the shooting of which he is accused. Mr. Radi referred him to the classified file.
The defense urges the judge to intervene and compel the investigator to answer his questions, but the judge explains at length that he cannot do so. Still, he turns to Radi and asks him to explain why the investigation cannot be shortened.
Radi steps out to consult the investigation supervisors and upon his return declares: Yes, we can shorten it to 11 days.
The defense asks the judge to try to advance the case to the prosecution, since the detainee has been in custody for a month!
The investigator's reply: We are doing our best to conclude the investigation and hand the case over to the prosecution, but there are certain developments that require a continuation of the investigation.
The defense asks about the detention of a relative of the detainee (his cousin Mahmud) - is it connected to his client's investigation?
The investigator's reply: Details concerning the links between the cousins and their involvement in the incident are in the classified file.
The defense' summation: The detainee was arrested on 30.8.10. He denies all allegation connecting him to the shooting incident. He made a statement to police admitting to lighter charges of rock throwing. The investigation has not progressed for a whole month. The investigation of the shooting incident has been going on for several months (prior to the suspect's arrest). Many people were arrested on the same charge and then released. Nobody has incriminated the suspect and there has been no progress in the investigation.
Here, the suspect wishes to address the court: "I've been in jail for 30 days. I was arrested with 40 other people from the village. I admit I threw rocks. Two people fingered me for rock throwing. Some of the interrogators beat me. They pull you hard by the coat (he points to his neck). They curse my mother and my sister."
Justice Dorani wants to know if he had breakfast and if a doctor has seen him about his skin lesions. The detainee says he has seen a doctor but the treatment did not help.
The Judge's Decision: ... It is my impression that there is a need for more time to conclude the investigation. I requested to reduce the number of days and make an effort to finish it. It turns out that this is feasible, and so I will instruct the court... The authorities of the holding facility will check the suspect's complaints regarding medical examination and treatment of the skin lesions on the detainee's hands.
As for the "barred" detainee: the judge was in favor of an open trial and looked on our presence in court favorably.
The investigator, on the other hand, pointed out that we publish reports and "perhaps his honor may want to ask questions which the detainee may wish to answer and this will complicate the investigation significantly."
We did not stay for the hearing of the "barred" detainee, as the judge declared a 20-minute recess (for lunch). It was 13:30 PM.