Daniel Pinner: Letter from Masiyahu #2

A funny thing happened in court the other week.
/>It was Wednesday 28 September, and I was up for the second hearing ofmy trial. the time, I had been held under arrest for more thanthree months (since June 22nd 2005 to be precise). justice wasproceeding at its usual sedate, calm pace, undisturbed by such conceptsas presumption of innocence, factual evidence, or the right to a speedytrial.

The hearing itself was comparatively brief--aboutan hour or so, in which two police officers in charge of theinterrogation testified that:

  • yes, they had interrogated me; />
  • yes, they found a spent cartridge from my Uzi; />
  • no,they had not bothered to check the range or angle of fire to see ifthat could possibly have been the bullet which allegedly hit NasserWafi; />
  • no, they had not been able to run an identity parade to ask the Arab eye-witnesses if I was the shooter; />
  • no, they could not explain why it was impossible to do an identity parade; />
  • no, they could not find any photographs of me to carry out a photographic identity parade; />
  • yes, the police have both cameras and photographers; />
  • yes, I was in police custody at the time; and />
  • no, they could not explain why the police did not think of photographing me in order to run a photographic identity parade.

The next hearing--the third--had been scheduled for 10 October, a weekand a half later. at the end of the hearing, the funny thinghappened: the Judge, Ruth Barkai, casually mentioned that, by the way,she has another case that day, a more important case, in which she willbe one of the panel of three judges. therefore, she postponed thenext hearing by another month...to 6 November. />
Myattorney, Baruch Ben-Yosef, drew her attention to the fact thatmeanwhile, while the court takes its own sweet time, a man is sittingin jail. Barkai, with admirable restraint and a sharp glance atattorney Ben-Yosef, said: "Yes, I know. no problem. November,9:00 in the morning." />
Now, it's not that the court isincapable of acting quickly; after all, when it comes to bringing inthe alleged Arab eye-witnesses (who, the court said, had to appearbefore the disengagement) there was no problem at all in speeding upthe process. more that the individual's liberty is consideredcheap and dispensable. />
And so, I have a recommendation forthe honorable Court of Justice: instead of postponing the next hearingto 6 November 2005, postpone it instead to 22 June 2008. willsolve a lot of problems: no one--neither the lawyer for theprosecution, nor the lawyer for the defense, nor Her Honour the Judgeis yet taken up on that day. more importantly: by then, I willhave been under arrest for three years, by which time the verdict ofguilty/not guilty will be irrelevant. if I am not guilty, I willbe released forthwith; and if the Court should decide that I am guilty,then I will already have served the required time in prison. that2008 hearing can be brief--no more than a few moments needed to rise asHer Honour the Judge enters the courtroom. this, of course, willsave the Honourable Court much of its precious time. />
On the other hand, maybe I had better not suggest this. all, Her Honour Ruth Barkai might take the idea seriously.

Kol Tov
Daniel Pinner
Kele Masiyahu
Disengagement Torah Section
POB 13
Ramle 72100

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