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Israeli military courts 'have 99 percent conviction rate'

Nov. 29, 2011 4:56 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 1, 2011 10:28 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli military courts in the West Bank have a 99.74 percent conviction rate for Palestinians brought before them, according to data published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Tuesday.

The newspaper, citing data from an annual military courts report, said military courts in the West Bank heard 9,542 cases in 2010, including over 2,000 involving "hostile terror activity."

Of those 9,542, just 25 resulted in full acquittals -- a conviction rate of 99.74, the newspaper said. But in four percent of all the cases heard, the defendant received a partial acquittal on one or more charge, it added.

The data also showed military tribunals overwhelmingly granted requests for administrative detention of Palestinians, approving 98.77 percent of the 714 requests received in 2010.

And, the newspaper said, the figures showed prosecution appeals to the military tribunals were granted much more frequently than those filed by the defense.

Prosecution appeals were upheld 67 percent of the time, the data showed, while defense appeals succeeded just 33 percent of the time.

Palestinians in the West Bank accused by Israel of criminal or security offenses are almost always tried before military tribunals, rarely appearing before Israeli civilian courts.

In addition to over 2,000 "terror" cases heard by the military tribunals in 2010, the courts also heard 763 cases involving "disorderly conduct" as well as cases involving illegal residence in Israel, traffic offenses and criminal activity, Haaretz said.
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