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Abu Teir trial delayed until November

July 28, 2010 2:48 P.M. (Updated: July 29, 2010 1:07 P.M.)
Jerusalem - Ma'an - An Israeli court deferred until 22 November on Wednesday the trial of a Palestinian lawmaker from Jerusalem who has been remanded in Israeli custody since his detention in May.

Mohammad Abu Teir's trial was postponed because of an Israeli Supreme Court hearing on 9 September to discuss the case, prompting the Magistrate's Court to delay the lawmaker's hearing until the higher court rules.

As a result, the lawmaker will be kept in custody pending trial, his legal team said.

The court filed indictments against Abu Teir, including the charge that he is illegally residing in Jerusalem after the Israeli Interior Ministry revoked his residency rights shortly after his release from prison in May. Abu Teir's legal team rejected the charges.

Lawyer Usama As-Sa'di, who is heading Abu Teir's defense, said he will present arguments based on international law because East Jerusalem is considered occupied territory, as well as the Geneva Convention preventing expulsion of the occupied population.

In May, Israel announced it was stripping Abu Teir, Ahmad Atoun, Mohammad Totah, and Khaled Abu Arafeh -- all Hamas-affiliated lawmakers -- of their residency rights and issuing a deadline for them to leave the city.

The three other lawmakers have been holding a sit-in at the International Committee for the Red Cross headquarters in Sheikh Jarrah since the decision was announced.

Speaking with Ma'an's correspondent following the decision, Attoun called on Jerusalem residents to gather outside the trial to convey to the world "that we stand against the decision to deport Jerusalem's lawmakers."
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