British journalist to remain held in Gaza for another 15 days: lawyer

20:06, March 01, 2010      

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Hamas on Monday extended the detention period of a British journalist for another 15 days, the lawyer of the journalist said.

"The session the military court has held today was not a trial, it was just to extend his detention," Sharhabeel al-Zaeem, the lawyer, said.

He said that the prosecution accused Paul Martin of "disturbing peace" but he has not yet finally charged.

"Martin told me that he is guiltless and I'm optimistic he would be set free when the investigation is over," said al-Zaeem, who was chosen by the British Consulate in Jerusalem to defend Martin.

Martin was arrested on Feb. 14 moments after arriving willingly at a Hamas military courthouse to testify for a Palestinian accused of collaborating with Israel.

Martin had produced a documentary on a Palestinian fighter who Hamas later charged with collaboration with Israel. Hamas accused Martin, who maintained contacts with the former fighter after he finished filming, of being "the connection ring between the spy" and Israel.

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