The Salem Israeli Military Court acquitted on Thursday Qassam Barghouthi, the son of jailed Fateh leader, Marwan Barghouthi, after two years imprisonment. His lawyer expects him to be freed next week, the Palestinian Maan News Agency reported.
Attorney Avigdor Feldman, Qassam’s defence lawyer, stated on Thursday in a phone interview with the Maan News Agency that the “military court completely acquitted Barghouthi from all five charges presented against him”.
The five charges included “attempting to kill Israeli citizens and soldiers”.
Feldman accused Shabak (Israeli Security Agency) of attempting to fabricate evidence against Qassam because he is the son of Marwan Barghouthi. The court was convinced that the presented evidence was not sufficient.
Feldman added that Qassam spent more than two years in Israeli prisons without committing and offences.
Lawyer Khader Shqeirat, one of Barghouthi’s co-lawyers, stated that Qassam will be freed next Thursday.
Qassam was taken prisoner at the Allenby Bridge between Jordan and the West Bank, on December 24, 2003. He was traveling back from Egypt where he studied at the American University.
He was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, but the Israeli prosecution decided to add new charges against him; the charges were fully dropped Thursday.
Qassam’s release comes as several Israeli leaders started calling on their government to release his father Marwan as part of any prisoner swap deal with the Palestinians in exchange for the release of the captured Israeli corporal, Gilad Shalit.
Israeli Minister, Gideon Ezra, said that Israel must release Barghouthi and other Palestinians detainees, as this would start negotiations over the release of Shalit.
Marwan was sentenced by an Israeli military court on May 20, 2004, to five consecutive life terms, and an additional 40 years.