Jpost Arab-Israeli Conflict
By YONAH JEREMY BOB \11/01/2016
The Judea Military Court recently ordered the release of a dual British-Palestinian national facing charges of assisting terrorists, due to issues with Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) interrogated methods leading to a confession, Walla! News reported on Tuesday.
A senior defense official confirmed the report.
Faiz Mahmoud Ahmad Sharawi will still face charges for helping terrorists to smuggle funds and cellphones for Hamas as well as charges dating back to 2005, but if the court decision stands, he will be freed from custody throughout the trial procedure.
The IDF prosecution has appealed the decision as the West Bank Military Appeals Court has yet to rule.
Also on Tuesday, the IDF’s chief prosecutor Lt.-Col. Maurice Hirsch stepped down, without his replacement Lt. Col. Asem Hamed having taken the helm yet,
The Jerusalem Post first exclusively disclosed Hirsch’s stepping down and Hamed’s appointment on September 27.
The decision would also be a potential broader blow to the IDF prosecution and the Shin Bet as the court suggested that the entire confession might need to be thrown out and invalidated due to the interrogation conditions.
The conditions were described as the painful handcuffing of Sharawi for an extended period as well as threats which could be sufficient to coerce an involuntary confession.
Sharawi was also prevented from seeing a lawyer from his September 15 arrest until October 6.
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel responded to the story noting “using torture happens and is not exceptional in interrogations. Painful handcuffing and threats are a common method used in Shin Bet interrogations with the purpose of causing a detainee grave pain and suffering and to break his spirit.”
In contrast, the Shin Bet denied any wrongdoing and emphasized the still pending allegations against Sharawi for terrorism as well as the IDF prosecution’s pending appeal.