Ameer Makhoul. Arrested two weeks ago

Makhoul's lawyers: He's physically exhausted

For first time since his arrest two weeks ago on suspicion of espionage, court allows Israeli Arab figure's attorneys to meet with him. His remand extended until Thursday

The Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court on Monday night extended the remand of Israeli Arab figure Ameer Makhoul, who is suspected of spying together with Omar Said, until Thursday.


Makhoul's lawyers, Hassan Jabareen and Orna Cohen met with their client before and after the court session for about an hour. Following the meeting, the lawyers released a statement saying that Makhoul was "physically exhausted after intensive interrogations."


The lawyers said Makhoul told them that "some of the interrogation sessions lasted days, sometimes without any sleep. During those days he complained about pains and dizziness. He was examined by a doctor on behalf of the Shin Bet. We understood from him that just like in Omar's case, the interrogations are very intensive with various investigation teams."


They added that they could not comment on the investigation due to a gag order placed on the affair. This was the first time Makhoul was allowed to meet with his attorneys since he was arrested about two weeks ago.


On Monday morning, his lawyers threatened to boycott the court session if they were not allowed to meet with him. Makhoul's relatives and left-wing activists protested outside the courthouse.


Sheikh Raed Salah protesting in Petah Tikva (Photo: Ido Erez)


The 52-year-old Haifa writer, a known figure in the Arab society and the brother of a former Knesset member, was arrested together with Omar Said, a 50-year-old pharmacologist and Balad activists from Kafr Kanna, on suspicions of espionage and contacting a Hezbollah agent.


The gag order on the affair was partially lifted last week following foreign reports.


Dozens of protesters, including Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, gathered outside the court to demonstrate against Makhoul and Said's detention.

The demonstrators protested against that fact that the detainees, who has been in custody for 12 days now, have yet to be allowed to meet with their attorneys. For this reason, the suspects' lawyers also decided to boycott the remand hearing.


The protesters carried signs that read: "The forces of darkness are at work in the light. Free Ameer Makhoul and Omar Said."


Makhoul's wife, Janan, said that since her husband's arrest, she has been kept in the dark. "I am worried about what is happening to Ameer, but we have nothing to fear concerning the suspicions against him. We know that Ameer Makhoul saw a doctor twice after complaining of pains, but we do not know what the results of the medical examinations were. They are not giving us any information about his medical state."


פרסום ראשון: 05.18.10, 08:25
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