Magistrate Court Orders Dr. Iyad Saraj’s Release Military Court Renews His Detention On New Charges
MAGISTRATE COURT ORDERS DR. IYAD SARAJ’S RELEASE
Military Court renews his detention on new charges
Published @ 13:00 hours GMT/13 June 1996
At 16:00 hours local time (13:00 hours GMT) the Magistrates Court in the Gaza Strip decided to release Dr Saraj after a hearing. However, the Prosecuting Authorities have brought new charges against Dr Iyad Saraj of assaulting a police officer in the Military Court. The Military Court considered the matter prior to the Magistrate Court hearing and renewed Dr Saraj’s detention for a further 15 days.
At 13:00 hours (10:00 hours GMT) Raji Sourani, lawyer to Dr Iyad Saraj, filed a petition at the Palestinian High Court in Gaza City. The petition sought Dr Saraj’s immediate release unless charges were brought against him. The High Court set a hearing date for Sunday.
After filing the petition, Raji Sourani was heard by unofficial sources that the Attorney-General was to bring Dr Iyad Saraj before the Magistrate’s Court at 14:00 hours. At 15:00 hours Dr Saraj was brought to the court by police and the case was heard. Charges against Dr Saraj concerning the possession of drugs were heard. After deliberations made by prosecuting counsel, requesting that his detention be renewed for 15 days, and defence counsel’s arguments seeking his immediate release, the Magistrates Court decided to release Dr Saraj.
Dr Saraj, who looked unwell throughout the hearing and complained of being beaten by police, informed the court that an hour before he was brought to the Magistrates Court, a Military Court hearing had taken place. His lawyer had not been informed of this and prior to the Military Court hearing itself, neither had Dr Saraj. At the Military Court a new allegation of assault a police officer was made. Dr Iyad Saraj’s detention was renewed for a further 15 days by the Military Court, which has responsibility for considering all matters concerning military personnel.
Raji Sourani and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights continues to fight for the release of Dr Iyad Saraj.