Barghouti remains defiant

30 September 2003
Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian grassroots leader, on 29 September gave his closing statement at his trial in Tel Aviv. Barghouti, who has refused legal representation throughout his trial, was arrested in mid 2002 and charged with heading the West Bank unit of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and orchestrating attacks by the group on Israeli targets.

Barghouti, who was not granted bail after his arrest, stood in front of three judges in the courtroom and spoke in defence of the intifada and the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. 'I am proud of the intifada,' he said. 'I am proud of the resistance to Israeli occupation. To die is better than living under occupation. I am standing here because I resisted Israeli occupation.'

On completing his closing statement, Barghouti was told that his case had been damaged because he had not addressed the charges brought against him. Sentencing is expected soon (MEED 7:4:03)

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