RealNews

Trial of Palestinian Leader Focuses Attention on Israeli Courts

Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian leader charged with orchestrating 26 killings in the current violence between Israel and the Palestinians, was ushered into District Court today in his brown prison uniform and unleashed what has become his familiar objections. “You don’t have the right to try me,” Mr. Barghouti, the West Bank chief of Yasir Arafat’s Fatah movement, told the three-judge panel. “This is a violation of international law and the Geneva Convention.” Judge Sara Sirota, presiding over the panel, said, “We’ve heard you before, Mr. Barghouti.” In response to his unsolicited comments, she had him removed from the courtroom several times as testimony proceeded without him. This case is the centerpiece of an Israeli effort to show it can counter violence and still run an open legal system that meets internationally accepted standards. Mr. Barghouti, whose trial began a month ago, is the most prominent Palestinian figure ever brought before an Israeli civilian court. Full Story

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