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Supreme Court refuses to free Fahima (JERUSALEM POST) By DAN IZENBERG 01/31/05)Source: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1107055730477&p=1078027574097 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Tali Fahima will remain in jail until the end of her trial and will have to respond to all of the charges included in her indictment in Tel Aviv District Court, according to two court decisions handed down on Sunday.

Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein accepted the state´s appeal against a lower court decision to place Fahima under house arrest at the home of her mother and sister in Kiryat Gat. As a result, Fahima will remain in jail.

At the same time, Tel Aviv District Court Judges Shlomo Timan, Tehiya Shapira and Sarah Brosh rejected a preliminary argument by Fahima´s lawyer, Smadar Ben-Natan, to delete some of the charges because the state had previously admitted that it did not have enough evidence to charge her for these crimes.

Fahima is on trial before the three judges on charges including assistance to the enemy in war, delivery of information to the enemy, contact with a foreign agent, possession of a weapon without lawful authority, support for a terrorist organization and contravention of a lawful order.

After submitting the indictment, the state also requested the court remand her until the end of the trial. Tel Aviv District Court Judge Zvi Gurfinkel refused on the grounds that the charges did not indicate that she posed such a public danger that she had to be held in jail.

The state appealed his decision to the Supreme Court, which on Sunday ruled in its favor. Rubinstein accepted the state´s argument that Fahima was too dangerous to be allowed out of jail. He said she proved this by translating a secret army document for the heads of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin and because she held and fired a rifle belonging to the terrorists.

"The very fact that she translated the document proves that Fahima crossed over the line from a humanitarian action to establish a computer center in the Jenin refugee camp to assistance to the enemy," Rubinstein wrote. "Even if [Palestinians] were able to read the document in one form or another, [her action] constituted assistance to the enemy. And if we add to this the fact that she held and fired a weapon, we see the threat of a person who significantly identifies with the ideological aim [of the terrorists,] when the boundary between identification and acts of assistance is blurred to the point of being erased."

Earlier in the day, Tel Aviv District Court rejected Ben-Natan´s arguments that the state had indicted her on charges which it had previously admitted it lacked the evidence to prove in court.

These charges included the fact that she had illegally entered Jenin, that she had met with the leaders of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, that she had declared that she was ready to serve as a human shield for the leader of the group, Zakariya Zubeidi, and that she had held a rifle.

All of these facts had been known to the prosecution for many months, Ben-Natan said. Yet after the authorities arrested her in August and interrogated her for a month, they asked to change the jail term to administrative detention because they did not have enough evidence to press charges against her.

A month later, on the basis of testimony from a captured member of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin, the authorities learned that Fahima had translated the military document for the terrorists. They then asked to rearrest her and filed the indictment. But the indictment included all the previous charges as well as the new charge. Ben-Natan argued that the older charges should be dropped.

But the court rejected the request on the grounds that the discrepancy between the state´s position before and after the indictment was not so severe and because the witness who had provided the information on Fahima´s translation of the military document had also shed more light on some of the earlier allegations against her, thereby strengthening the evidence. (© 1995-2005, The Jerusalem Post 01/31/05)

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