RAMALLAH, May 30 (JMCC) - Palestinian activists Bassam Tamimi was sentenced to 13 months in jail and a suspended sentence to be implemented if he disturbs the public order or demonstrates, reports Haaretz
The community leader from the village of Nabi Saleh served 13 months in prison as he fought charges that he had incited violence and joined demonstrations the Israeli military says are illegal.
Tamimi's case has been closely followed by human rights groups and diplomats who see him as a prisoner of conscience. Two of the testimonies used by Israeli military prosecutors to try Tamimi were deemed by the court as inadmissible because they broke Israel's own rules for the treatment of minors in detention.
During the trial, Tamimi refused a plea deal and denied his guilt. Tamimi’s lawyer Laviv Habib claimed the arrest was illegal since it was based on testimonies and incriminations of two minors whose rights were violated during their investigation. Attorneys Gaby Lasky and Neri Ramati, representing one of the minors, showed in a trial within a trial that his arrest and interrogation were flawed and that the Youth Law was violated.
The two minors were arrested at gunpoint in the dead of the night during an army raid. The minors were interrogated while being deprived of sleep, their parents were not present and the two were not made aware of their right to keep silent.
Therefore, the judge disqualified their testimonies, as well as the testimony of a Palestinian policeman, stating that parts of his testimony were made up by the interrogating officer, while other parts were taken out.
In his trial, Tamimi also tried to challenge the court’s legitimacy, telling the court that while Israel pretends it is the only democracy in the Middle East, he is being tried by military law.