Canadian-Jordanian millionaire released from Israeli custody after month without seeing lawyer

16-06-2015 11:38 AM

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - A Canadian-Jordanian millionaire who was held by Israel for more than a month without being allowed to see a lawyer was released last week. No charges were filed against him , Haaretz reported.

Ibrahim Siyam, 58, is originally from Beit Lakia in the West Bank, but he left decades ago. Today, he divides his time between Jordan and Canada, and has citizenship in both countries. He owns various companies in different countries, including China, Qatar and Croatia.

In early May, Siyam and several other Jordanian businessmen headed to Ramallah for a conference on how to improve the Palestinian Authority’s economy. But when the group arrived at the Allenby Bridge between Jordan and Israel, Siyam was separated from the others, arrested by the Shin Bet security service and taken for questioning to the Kishon detention facility.

For the next three weeks, he was forbidden to meet with his lawyers, Avi Bar-Am and Fadi Kawasmi. The Supreme Court upheld this ban twice, under two different benches – the first comprised of justices Elyakim Rubinstein, Noam Sohlberg and Uri Shoham, and the second of justices Yoram Danziger, Neal Hendel and Zvi Zylbertal.

Last week, however, after more than a month of interrogation, he was released from prison and left the country via the Allenby Bridge.

Hearings held at the Ofer Military Court that an employee of one of Hamas’ charitable organizations once solicited Siyam for a donation and received tens of thousands of dollars to aid Palestinian refugees in Damascus’ Yarmouk refugee camp. Siyam, who reportedly donates a great deal of money, didn’t suspect anything amiss.

His arrest generated considerable attention from both the Canadian and Jordanian governments. Representatives of both embassies visited him in prison and contacted the Israeli government to find out why he had been arrested. In conversations with his family, these diplomats voiced surprise at the arrest of someone so well-regarded in both his home countries.

The Shin Bet said Siyam was arrested on May 5, “after information was received that raise suspicions of his involvement in transferring money to Hamas. His interrogation was conducted according to the law, including judicial review as required, inter alia by the High Court of Justice [sic]. At the end of the interrogation, all the material was transferred for examination to the military prosecution, which reached the conclusion that the evidence obtained by the interrogation constituted an insufficient basis for putting Siyam on trial. In light of this, he was released from detention on June 8 and departed for Jordan.”

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