Barghouti's Son Was Not Involved in Killing

Marwan Barghouti's son, Qassam Barghouti, was not charged with wounding or killing Israelis or sentenced for such acts, contrary to Israel's statements yesterday.

Israel announced yesterday that Qassam would not be released, despite a promise made be Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, because he was involved in killing Israelis.

The first charge against Qassam, who was arrested in December 2003, was modified during the debate. Initially, he was charged with throwing six grenades in March 2003 during the demolition of a Ramallah home. His lawyer proved that the sole witness for the prosecution did not mention Qassam, the house was not in Ramallah but in the Al-Amari refugee camp, and no grenades, only stones, were thrown.

The prosecution, which first demanded six years in jail, agreed with the defense that Qassam would admit to disrupting order and be sentenced to 15 months in prison starting from his arrest. According to a later charge still being debated, Qassam and three others were involved in a shooting incident on the basis of one witness. The other three did not mention Qassam's involvement.