Court approves Fahima plea bargain

Far left-wing activist to serve 3-year sentence minus time in custody.

tali fahima 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
tali fahima 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The long legal saga of Tali Fahima ended Thursday when Tel Aviv District Court upheld a plea bargain agreement she reached with the state prosecution according to which she is to serve three years in jail. Fahima was admitting charged with entering Jenin illegally, meeting with members of the outlawed Aksa Martyrs Brigades, translating a classified military document for them and holding and firing a rifle. The state promised not to oppose pardoning her after she completes two-thirds of her term, which is to be calculated from the day she was arrested on August 8, except for a period of three months when she was held in administrative detention for reasons unrelated to the indictment. The court also gave Fahima a suspended sentence of 18 months starting from the day she is released from jail. She is due to be released in approximately 11 months. Judge Shelly Timen, the presiding judge, quoted extensively from Fahima's address to the court at the previous hearing on December 14. At that time, Fahima said: "I must say that these moments are not easy for me. For the past two weeks, I have stood convicted of very grave crimes against the security of the state. I am a loyal citizen of my country, the country I grew up and was educated in. I received my values from Judaism. My self-awareness has never been tested or held in question. "Your honors, I had no intention of harming the security of the state, no such intention or anything close to it. I found myself in the circumstances of that [military] action and I wish to remind you that I turned myself in as soon as I heard that [the authorities] were looking for me. My action was open, including the relationship with [Aksa Martyrs Brigades head in Jenin] Zakariya Zubeidi, and I did not hide it. "I explained the nature of my relationship and my activities the first time I was arrested... I had no intention of harming the security of the state and, not only that, the security of anyone. That is my commitment as a human being," Fahima said. Timen wrote of her statement: "We see great importance in the accused's response regarding these crimes, particularly what she said in court. The tone of her words is very positive and marks a great change compared from the tone she used during her interrogation regarding the security forces, and in court at the beginning of the hearings." Fahima was arrested at an IDF checkpoint on August 8, 2004, on her way to making another visit to Jenin, where a year earlier, she had befriended Zubeidi, a wanted terrorist. After being held in jail for 28 days, Fahima was placed in administrative detention. She was rearrested by police on December 4 and indicted in Tel Aviv District Court three weeks later. Originally, Fahima was accused of six crimes, including aiding the enemy in wartime, for which the maximum punishment is the death penalty. According to the amended indictment agreed upon a few weeks ago by the state and Fahima's lawyer, Smadar Ben-Natan, three of the charges were dropped and she was accused of providing information to the enemy in order to assist him, contact with a foreign agent and violation of a legal order.