Abusisi’s First Public Words at Hearing: ‘I am a Simple, Innocent Man’
Dirar Abusisi has made his first public statement since his kidnapping in Ukraine and extraordinary rendition to Israel. Before beginning a hearing that is underway as I write this, he made his first comments to the media during the court proceedings, saying:
The interrogated me about Gilad Shalit but I have no connection or information about him. It’s all lies. I am merely a simple man and electrical engineer. I send my love to my family. I am innocent.
He also said that he had been kidnapped from Ukraine and encouraged his family to be strong and patient.
Defense minister Ehud Barak has now gotten into the act and reinforced Netanyahu’s claim that Abusisi knows about Shalit. This appears to be the line that the Israeli security services have fixed on as most likely to bring a prison sentence against him after two trial balloons linking him to building missles under Iranian training and the Victoria arms shipment were apparently dropped.
Yossi Melman is also reporting based on security sources that Abusisi will be charged with membership in a terror organization and aiding Hamas in manufacturing weapons. The latter is a charge whispered by another TV news military correspondent weeks ago. So here you can see how the gag works. The defense and anyone sympathetic to the defendant may not report on matters that might work in his favor. However, the prosecution and Shabak may leak at will to their chosen favorite reporters, who dutifully put it in the media pipeline. Once again revealing a system stacked against all security detainees and in favor of the State.
The “leniency” with which the authorities have treated him derives no doubt from Bibi Netanyahu opening his big mouth during the Channel 2/YouTube interview and crowing about Abusisi’s membership in Hamas. By the way, can you imagine the leader of a democratic nation proclaiming before not just a national, but international audience that a prisoner who hasn’t even yet been charged with a crime is guilty of being a member of a banned organization? This surely is a conviction even before the trial has begun. Would any of my pro-Israel readers want to reconcile that with the concept of innocent till proven guilty? Or does that hold true only for Israeli Jews? Palestinians apparently are guilty, not until proven innocent because in the Israeli system that doesn’t happen. Just guilty.
So the court and/or prosecutor figured that because Bibi had already convicted him before the international media that they should at least allow him to be photographed and make a short statement.
Abusisi’s remand has been extended for another five days, which will bring him to 45 days imprisonment without being charged with a crime, an unprecedented length of time for Israeli prisoners. At that time, charges are supposed to be filed (but at the last hearing that’s what the court insisted would happen).
I repeat what I said after the Attorney General stated that he was unsatisfied with the evidence Shabak had compiled against Abusisi–whatever they’ve gotten so far hasn’t been enough. They need to continue working on him till they can build a case for something. This delay also lends credibility to Smadar Ben Natan’s statement yesterday that her client has done nothing wrong, but rather deserves an airline ticket back to Ukraine with an apology (fat chance). If Abusisi is guilty of something why has it taken 45 days to file charges? How long do you need to have 24 hour/7 days a week access to a prisoner in order to find him guilty of terrorism? A month, a year?
8 thoughts on “Abusisi’s First Public Words at Hearing: ‘I am a Simple, Innocent Man’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Innocent until proven guilty? Are we not all (many of us anyhow) of not being (loyal) Israeli Jews?
Does the (proposed) law against BDS aimed at Israeli entities have:
 a time limit for the forbidden acts?
 a geographical limit for the forbidden acts?
 a nationality or citizenship limit for actors doing forbidden acts?
Is a BDS act done in NYC punishable (or civilly actionable) under the new (proposed) Israeli law? If done by a non-Israeli? If done last year? If done last year?
If done by a non-Israeli in NYC last year? And what if such a person shows up WITH A VISA at Israel’s border? Will she be admitted? And then what? Arrested? Sued?
Just asking. There is a lot of confusion about JURISDICTION these days. Universal jurisdiction threatening Livni — or not. Israeli kidnappers arresting folks in Ukrain. USA bombing Pakistan villages and assassinating Americans outside the USA. There is also a lot of apparent misuse of judicial process going around these days.
What amazes me is that they spent so much time, money and effort to get him to Israel and only then looked into the validity fo the case. Something doesn’t add up.
Perhaps they got the wrong man? Perhaps their information was wrong?
The PM is the representative of the state, which is the plaintiff in the case. His remarks are accusations not convictions. Considering the fact that unlike in US law, in Israel there is no Jury (which can be affected by these kind of public statements), but only an impartial judge, I don’t see the harm in presenting the prosecutor’s case.
Not at all. When the chief representative of the State declares a man is guilty of a crime, then he has been declared guilty before trial & before charges have even been filed. In case you forget, membership in Hamas or any terror organization is a criminal offense in Israel. By saying Abusisi was a member of Hamas, he convicted him. Period. You can do pilpul around this all you want. But in the end, your PM has committed a grave violation of due process.
I like the notion that judges in security cases are “impartial.” Are you kidding? THey’re completely partial to the State. And it’s not the job of the prime minister to “present the prosecutor’s case.” That’s why you have a court and a real prosecutor. So unless Bibi wants to switch jobs & become prosecutor (which would be fine by me), he should just shut his trap & allow the legal process to unfold. He has gravely prejudiced this case & rendered an impartial verdict impossible.
Bibi is known for his verbal flubs, I’ll give you that. And I agree this statement was uncalled for.
However, I think it all comes down to whether or not You believe in the judicial system. Watching similar procedures from up close I have to say that I don’t share your conviction about the crruption in our courtrooms.
As a matter of fact, it’s one of the few places in this country that is still largely unaffected by this trend. Consider the fact that even cases like Omar Said’s ended up with plea bargains. If the case had been that of a biased judge, don’t you think the state could have been certain of a harsh verdict, and wouldn’t have needed to compromise?
You have very little understanding about how security cases are adjudicated. First, everything about the judicial system as pertains to security cases is rigged in the State’s favor. Everything. There are no innocent verdicts for Palestinian suspects. That’s why virtually every Palestinian detainee pleads out. If they didn’t they’d earn a sentence 3-4 times what they get from pleading to a lesser offense.
His plea is not an indication of the health of the system. On the contrary.
You also don’t understand the State’s motivation & that of the Shabak. Their goal is not to send one man away for life, but rather to send 100 men away for 10 yrs ea. If they send one man away for life they create a marginal deterrent. But when they send 100 away for 10 yrs ea. they throw terror into the minds of all Israeli Palestinians that they or their spouses or siblings or children could be next.
So if they took a case all the way to trial & conviction they’d get their one man but would spend so many tens of thousands of hours of staff time doing so that they couldn’t go after the other 99 that they want to put in prison as well. That’s why it’s in the ‘interest’ of both sides to plead to a lesser offense. For Shabak it means they’re free to move on to the other 99 after doing relatively little work. For the victim it means he spends only 10 yrs in jail instead of a whole lifetime. It’s a cruel vicious bargain for the victim.
I was hoping to nominate this series you have researched and written for a Hillman Award, but I might not reach the deadline…
I have shared it on my tiny blog which reaches my facebook page and my not so teeny friend list…
If I “lose” any friends over this, so be it.
One tragedy is that all over the world there are innocent people in prisons whose children are missing them…
You neglected to mention the most obvious legal fallacy — Hamas is a banned organization in Israel, but so what? Abusisi is a Palestinian who was born in Jordan and was applying for Ukrainian citizenship. He lived in Gaza where Hamas is the governing party. What possible legal jurisdiction could Israel have over him? Or are they entitled to arrest any national they please under any pretext they can drum up?
If I have this wrong, please enlighten me because from where I sit it looks like an international kidnapping.