Ofer - Holding and trading of combat materiel, Remand Extension
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Major Meir Vigiser
Defense: Atty. Fadi Qwasme
Today’s hearings in the court are processed like on an assembly line.
Shadi Muhammad Jamil Mahmoud – ID 907485809
Shadi is accused of entering the region without a permit (i.e., staying illegally inside Israel). He is released on bail and shows up in court well groomed and neatly dressed. His brother (who claims that Shadi is mentally challenged) came with him, armed with a check.
I was unable to hear what punishment was meted to him, but I heard the attorney asking for leniency in the “suspended sentence” so Shadi could apply for an entry permit to work in Israel. The judge explains that the law stipulates a minimum of one year suspended sentence. According to Israeli Police rules, every detention entails an automatic 18-months prohibition to enter Israel.
There were several hearings involving possible agreements; the defendants asked for time to consider the plea bargains and the hearings were set for 18.9.13, that is after Ramadan.
[One wonders why the attorneys request such long delays. Apart from the explanation already supplied: that the months of detention are considered part of the punishment – I heard another explanation: the defendants themselves request it because they prefer not to come to court during the fast - the ride and the wait in court make it very hard for them]
Six prisoners were brought in. With the judge’s consent, the attorney had a long conference with them. It is clear that this is a substitute for client-attorney conference. The six are accused of manufacturing and trading in combat materiel. This is the first step in a plea bargain negotiation.
It seems that Palestinians are good at multi tasking: while conferring with their attorney, they also conduct conversations with their families. One prisoner, for example, tried to find out if his new house has electricity. The answer was that everything will be done after Ramadan.
Judge: Lieutenant-Colonel Ronen Atzmon
Prosecutor: Captain Gilad Peretz
Defense: Atty. Nery Ramati
Nariman Mahmoud Hassan Tamimi - ID 411693005, a resident of Nabi Salah
Rana Hamada – ID 412514432, a demonstrator in Nabi Salah
The women are accused of entering a closed military zone. They were arrested on 28.6.13 (near the village of Nabi Salah). The prosecutor mentioned that in accordance with the law, they were detained for 96 hours so an indictment could be presented while they are in detention.
It transpires that there were about 70 Palestinians in the area and 3 of them were arrested, one a foreign national who was released immediately. Nariman and Rana, however, were made to sit in a vehicle for more than 8 hours, until they were brought to Sharon Prison.
The judge had ordered to set them free but the prosecutor requested to delay the release until 1.7.13. I now attended this hearing.
The hearing was long and very interesting. The attorney claimed that the order was unconstitutional citing a military injunction. A short discussion ensued regarding the right to protest and freedom of expression which, Atty. Ramati stressed, cannot be denied to Palestinians. He stated that there was an agreement regarding no entry to a closed military area.
A discussion arose about the quality of the map presented by the prosecution. The judge told the prosecutor: Your order is not proper. The map you present is incomprehensible. (He even joked: Why don’t you write it in Russian?) The prosecutor rejected all the judge’s comments, stating that he would consult his superiors. Indeed, after the recess, he was replaced by Lieut.- Col. Morris Hirsch, Judea and Samaria Chief Advocate.
In the end the appeal was denied.
Judge: Major Semadar Shagog
Prosecutor: Lieut. Dvir Wiesel
Defense: Atty. Mahmoud Hassan
Defendant: Tahrir Sati Yussef Mansour – ID 936077825
Tahrir is accused of membership in the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] and with conspiracy to carry out an act of hostility.
The defense asked to defer responding to the charges because the Prosecution witnesses are still being deposed. A few days ago, Prosecution witness No. 5 (one of the incriminators!) was charged, and the defense needs to study the material.
Arraignment session was set for 29.8.13.
Shosh Kahn from “Women for (f.) Prisoners” was present in the court. We stepped out to talk to the parents. The father examined the charge sheet in Arabic. The parents are weighed down by their suffering: the mother is bent, using a cane. When Tahrir was arrested, her brother was arrested with her. He is in jail.
The father told us that a few years ago, another daughter, named Sumud, had been arrested. She was imprisoned for 5 years. In all those years he was allowed to visit her only once; the authorities viciously claimed that she was not his daughter! Even today, years later, it was hard to watch the terrible indignation and hurt on their face when they told us about it.