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Maariv Reports Abusisi Plea Deal Imminent, Defense Flatly Denies It

As part of the Kabuki-like posturing common to Israeli justice and politics, Maariv reports a supposed plea deal between Dirar Abusisi’s attorney and the Israeli state prosecutor under which the suspect would receive a 15-20 year sentence for his alleged crimes.  Tal Linoy, Abusisi’s attorney, confirmed to me that the entire story is a “flyer” by the state in its attempt to exert pressure on Abusisi.  What was most interesting was this statement by the prosecutor:

The case against Abusis could go on for years.  It involves tens of thousands of documents, many of them classified.  We would prefer to close the case with a plea deal that calls for a relatively severe sentence in order not to have to conduct the case.  The evidence we have [against him] is incriminating enough.

I read this statement quite differently from the way it would appear on its surface.  First, the man who Shabak has claimed to be the mastermind behind all of Hamas’ rocket technology and terror campaign against southern Israel has all of a sudden shrunk from the devil incarnate to a mere irritant in the eyes of Israeli intelligence.  Instead of throwing the book at him and putting him away for life as would be fitting for his alleged rap sheet, his sentence would be considerably less.  Second, the prosecution has admitted that it doesn’t want to try the case.  Frankly, I’ve never heard an Israeli prosecutor say in such a national security case that he would prefer not to try it.  To me, this indicates either a serious weakness or flaw which the prosecutor would prefer not to have to expose by going to trial.

So why would they prefer not to try it?  There is a hint in the acknowledgement by the prosecution that there are classified documents, which one may infer the prosecution would prefer not to have to reveal, even to a judge.  What might those documents be?  Perhaps contacts between Shabak and Hamas via an intermediary which led to the former’s kidnapping of Abusisi?  Perhaps those documents would reveal how mistaken Shabak was in its initial evaluation of the value of Abusisi as a terror operative.

Or perhaps the state’s lawyer is referring to the childish drawings rendered by Abusisi of Hamas’ alleged missile fleet.  Maybe the state would prefer not to offer these in evidence for fear that the judge would laugh them out of court.

On a serious note, Linoy has filed a motion with the Israeli Supreme Court demanding that the Shabak release all the classified interrogation materials.  This would include documents or transcripts which might support the claim he was tortured to extract the confession he made.  It might include any or all of the items I speculated about above.  If the State fears the High Court might actually agree with the defense and force public exposure of these materials, it would be in the interest of the prosecution to offer a deal.  Washing its hand of the case would avoid potential embarrassment should the Supreme Court hold in Abusisi’s favor.

It would also be important for Dirar’s family to understand that this is the way the game is played in Israel.  And it’s a complicated game in which the State gets to set the terms, gets to leak to the press whatever it wishes, in which the truth is almost always concealed.  What the State says via the media isn’t always the truth.  Sometimes not even close.  So don’t accept anything you read at face value.  Read between the lines.

It’s certainly no coincidence that Yisrael HaYom (aka Bibiton), published virtually the same story, which placed special emphasis on the supposedly top secret materials which might have to be revealed in order to secure a conviction of Abusisi.  Again, I don’t think I’ve ever recalled such a claim by the State of Israel in a national security case.  There is never any fear of revealing secrets because judge’s almost never force them to do so.  Which is why this entire line of argument is so hollow and unpersuasive.

At any rate, this story proves how important it is not to accept at face-value most Israeli newspaper stories involving national security cases.  The truth is either beneath the surface or perhaps even nowhere to be found on the printed page.  Often you have to dig deeper to find the truth yourself.

Those of you who read Hebrew will note that the right-wing Maariv didn’t even bother to ask Tal for a comment in this story.  I had to do that here.  It merely dutifully reported the story regurgitated by the state prosecutor for their consumption.  This isn’t journalism.  This isn’t justice.  This is stenography and kangaroo justice.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • FPM August 15, 2011, 12:28 AM

    Front page magazine has item today disproving all your lies

    • Richard Silverstein August 15, 2011, 12:55 AM

      Wow, really? All of ’em? Considering how many lies you & Frontpagemagazine believe I’ve told I’m suprised they could disprove them all in a single “item.” I’m always pleased when FPM wastes its time attacking me. And I’m delighted to be their bogeyman.

      I looked all over the FPM site & couldn’t find the garbage to which you were referring, which disappointed me no end.

  • Grendal August 15, 2011, 11:07 AM

    This reminds me of the Aipac case where all your speculations were wrong.

    • Richard Silverstein August 15, 2011, 1:32 PM

      I have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • Bob Mann August 15, 2011, 2:12 PM

        Probably your comments with respect to Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman.

        You wrote that your confidant told you that the government had “the goods” on the two of them, but the case ended up being dropped.

        • Richard Silverstein August 15, 2011, 4:35 PM

          The gov’t certainly DID have the goods on them. But because the Justice Dept. wasn’t willing to offer to expose the confidential sources, methods & substance of what it had & how it derived it, the judge (a right wing VA judge) threw the case out. If the gov’t had been willing to lay it on the line they certainly would’ve proceeded & likely gotten convictions, at least of Rosen. Since I like Keith personally & politically I hope he would not have been convicted. But Rosen, yeah any day.

          • Bob Mann August 15, 2011, 5:22 PM

            I didn’t mean to re-open that discussion. You just wrote that you had no idea what the commenter above was talking about, and I figured that your posts on the Rosen/Weissman case had to be what was being referenced.

          • Richard Silverstein August 15, 2011, 5:26 PM

            No problem. I understand. I just wish people would be more clear. I’ve written perhaps 100 posts on Aipac, so it helps to clarify which one you’re talking about when you make claims as this commenter did.

          • Grendal August 16, 2011, 4:23 AM

            There you go again. It’s always the rightwingers. Here’s a leftwing view of the government case.
            “And this AIPAC case is the first time ever that the government has tried to use a law that was passed in 1917 called the Espionage Act to imprison, not government employees who pass on classified information, but private citizens who do nothing more than receive classified information. You had mentioned that the employee — the individuals had passed on the information to the Israeli government. There is a suggestion they did that, but that is not part of the criminal case. The only thing they are accused of doing is receiving classified information.’
            link to democracynow.org

  • jeff August 15, 2011, 12:05 PM

    He meant the piece by Hornik on Abu Sisi in FPM

    • Richard Silverstein August 15, 2011, 1:30 PM

      About the only fact I’d trust FPM to prove incontrovertibly is that it exists. Everything else it claims is in dispute.

    • Richard Silverstein August 15, 2011, 4:44 PM

      Hornik doesn’t address my coverage of Abusisi at all. How can it blow my claims out of the water if it doesn’t even address them? Further, it doesn’t even point to a single argument supporting the validity of the state’s claims against Abusisi. As they used to say in the movies (or TV): “is that all you’ve got??” Because if that’s all you’ve got to support Israel’s claims then that’s beyond pathetic.

  • Chayma August 15, 2011, 12:21 PM

    Front page magazine has item today disproving all your lies

    Only cretins would rely on Frontpage magazine for news. I wonder how many people outside of the far right Zionist settler and Armeggedon crowd consider Front Page Mag as worthy of anything other than fairy stories?

    It’s David Horowitz’s propoganda machine, which includes Jihad Watch.

    One of the reasons British media became popular in America since 2006 was because of these propoganda outlets dictating what people heard.

    In 2007, these proved prophetic, so with hindsight, we can say people like David Horowitz unwittingly did the public a favour, by pushing them to the left.

    British media could swing the next US election
    link to britainandamerica.typepad.com

    By Tim Montgomerie, Editor of BritainAndAmerica.com

    Good report, Richard.

  • dickerson3870 August 15, 2011, 8:22 PM

    RE: “This isn’t justice. This is…kangaroo justice.” ~ R.S.


    …after months of trial postponement, Joseph K goes to court painter Titorelli to ask for advice. He is told to hope for little. He might get definite acquittal, ostensible acquittal, or indefinite postponement. No one is ever really acquitted, but sometimes cases can be extended indefinitely.
    Titorelli: “You see, in definite acquittal, all the documents are annulled. But with ostensible acquittal, your whole dossier continues to circulate. Up to the higher courts, down to the lower ones, up again, down. These oscillations and peregrinations, you just can’t figure ‘em.”
    Joseph K: “No use in trying either, I suppose.”
    Titorelli: “Not a hope. Why, I’ve known cases of an acquitted man coming home from the court and finding the cops waiting there to arrest him all over again. But then, of course, theoretically it’s always possible to get another ostensible acquittal.”
    Joseph K: “The second acquittal wouldn’t be final either.”
    Titorelli: “It’s automatically followed by the third arrest. The third acquittal, by the fourth arrest. The fourth…”

    PARTIAL SOURCE – link to imdb.com

  • Leonid Levin August 15, 2011, 10:43 PM

    Is there a way that Dirar Abusisi can still get a fair trial? Or are 15 to 20 years in jail his best option given the circumstances? How about Amnesty International? How about a lawsuit against the state of Israel about his abduction?

    • Richard Silverstein August 16, 2011, 12:31 AM

      Abusisi’s family is already suing Ukraine in a case that may end up in the European Court of Human Rights.

      His lawyer is appealing some key elements of the case to the Supreme Court. If he wins, then Abusisi will have more leverage to negotiate a deal. Who knows what will happen?

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