State wins appeal, Fahima to remain in custody
Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein ruled Sunday afternoon that pro-Palestinian activist Tali Fahima will remain in custody until the end of legal procedings against her.
Justice Rubinstein accepted an appeal filed by the state prosecution against a Tel Aviv District Court ruling from last week, according to which Fahima was to be released to a house arrest in her mother's house in Kiryat Gat, under restrictions.
"The combination between her being dangerous and fears she will escape require arresting her until the end of legal procedures" wrote Rubinstein in his ruling.
"This has not been an light-hearted ruling, and I weighed the cause of danger against the right for freedom of Fahima," wrote Rubinstein. "It is clear that the people with whom she was staying and the acts of which she is accused are linked to, are enemies of the state."
Earlier Sunday, Tel Aviv District Court rejected a request made by Fahima to revoke a significant portion of the indictment filed against her.
The defense argued among other things that Fahima was released from administrative arrest although the charges for which she is tried were known to members of the Shin Bet security service and the prosecution while she was still held in that arrest. The same charges were part of the initial cause for putting her under administrative arrest.
Fahima's attorneys argued that there was no reason to keep her in administrative arrest and delay the submission of the indictment, and that this act is mere cruelty.
In their decision, the judges wrote that they must rely on the prosecutor's statements, since they have no access to the evidential material for comparison. The evidence held by the prosecution is part of the classified information that led to Fahima's administrative arrest - and therefore there is no room for a rare act of revoking substantial parts of the indictment.
District court judges accepted the prosecution's claim that Fahima's indictment was formulated based on entirely new evidence that had recently come to light.
She is charged with giving information to the enemy, having contact with a foreign agent, unlawful possession of weapons and supporting a terror organization.
Fahima was accused of translating and reading to Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades members sensitive material the Israel Defense Forces had lost during an operation in the West Bank city of Jenin in May 2004.
Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court Judge Zvi Gurfinkel ruled last Monday that the defendant's detention, which preceded her present custody, "has nothing to do with the facts appearing in the indictment, but pertains to other facts, which apparently justified her administrative custody."
He also ruled that the evidence against Fahima is not sufficient to justify detention.
Fahima has been under arrest for nearly six months.
In its appeal, the state prosecution said that "past experience and common sense show that anyone who speaks his mother tongue has a clear advantage in reading, understanding and transmitting ideas, over those who acquire that language."
"The fact that Fahima read the pamphlet without being asked to stop by the people present at that moment, and as long as the level of their Hebrew hasn't been proven, lead us to the conclusion that in reading she was in fact assisting the enemy," the appeal said.
The state prosecution wants to show that Fahima's arrest was necessary because "she was dangerous" due to "her acquaintance and devotion to the [Jenin Al-Aqsa Brigades] commander Zakaria Zubeidi."
IDF troops entered Jenin in May to arrest people on the wanted list and shoot armed activists, including Zubeidi, his deputy and two others. During the operation, a soldier lost top-secret material with details of the wanted men. Zubeidi's men got hold of the material and Fahima, who was allegedly in Zubeidi's house in Jenin at the time, read the material aloud, explaining what it said about capturing or killing the wanted men. There were also aerial photos showing the access routes to their homes.
Zubeidi allegedly ordered the wanted men to go into hiding, and the IDF troops failed to capture them. Fahima was also charged with violating a legal order by entering the territories after she had been released from custody. She was arrested while disguised as a local woman.
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