Akkal’s lawyer to question his interrogators

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EREZ, Gaza Strip — An Israeli military court judge has allowed Jamal Akkal’s lawyer to question Akkal’s interrogators in a closed military court session March 16.

The Palestinian-Canadian student and would be truck driver was arrested by Israel authorities in Gaza last fall on suspicion of being a Hamas recruit intent on carrying out terrorist activities in North America.

Akkal, a Windsor resident and a Canadian citizen, claims he was just in Gaza to get married.

His lawyer, Jamil al-Khatib, claims Akkal’s signed confession (in Hebrew) in which he admitted his mission was to seek out and kill Israeli officials in North America, was signed under duress and was written in a language he did not understand.

According to al-Khatib, Akkal was beaten, deprived of sleep and bathroom breaks threatened during his interrogations which sometimes lasted 20 hours a day. Akkal’s lawyer also says Akkal did not understand the confession he was forced to sign.

Israeli military officials have denied the charges. They say the confession was verbally translated into Arabic for Akkal.

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