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Colonial Cases

Nashashibi v. Nashashibi, 1932


Nashashibi  v. Nashashibi

Source: The Palestine Bulletin, 15 May 1932




   Wee give below the full judgment of the British Magistrate Mr. Cressall, delivered yesterday in the case of Isa'f Nashashibi, represented by Mr. Richardson, against Fakhri Bey Nashashibi and Dr. H. Khaldi, represented by Abcarius Bey.

   In this case the complainant charges the defendants with having assaulted him on the night of the 21.11.31 at the Grand Cafe and at various places on the way home from the Grand Cafe to complainant's house, contrary to article 179 of the O.P.C.

   The facts of the case as proved to any satisfaction are as follows:-

   The complainant, Isa'f Nashashibi, is addicted to alcoholic drink.  On the night in question he vested the Grand and Vienna Cafes and became drunk - a condition which several witnesses have averred he is frequently in.  About midnight he left the Grand Cafe and proceeded to make himself objectionable in the public thoroughfare adjoining the Cafés in question.  The defendants who happened to be passing in the locality were attracted by a crowd of people and on investigation discovered that the complaisant was the cause of the gathering by reason of his drunken antics.  He was noisy and obstreperous - on fact his behaviour was such as to cause has cousin (the first named defendant) considerable "family shame."  After consulting two respectable British residents who happened to be on the spot, the defendants decided that the best thing to do was to tackle the complainant home.  This they did with the help of passers by including British constable 827 Hands.

   Having succeeded in getting the complaisant to the "ancestral home" he refused to go in and was thereupon forcibly assisted by his friends and other helpers.  When he got to the bedroom, however, he objected to going to bed (no doubt because the milkman had not yet arrived) so he was undressed, put into night attire, and nicely tucked in between the blankets.  The "Good Companions" then left doubtless in the satisfaction that they had performed their one good deed for the day.  The complainant had other ideas, however, and proceeded to undo all the previous good work by getting out of bed and making himself generally objectionable.  Fortunately, Dr. Khalil (the second defendant) had stayed behind and after a rough and tumble eventually handed him over to his servant who apparently was well educated in the treatment to be applied to drunken 'masters.'

   Subsequent events are somewhat obscure, but it happens that the complainant succeeded in telephoning the Mea Shearim Police Station to report that he had been "attacked and robbed by fellaheen bandits" and he demanded immediate assistance.  Thereupon the guardians of the law proceeded post haste to the complainant's house where an impartial investigation into the reason for "turning out Guard" disclosed a highly excited and drunken householder who was suffering from the effects of an obstreperous encounter with well meaning friends and acquaintances.

   The scene now changes to 8.00 a.m. next morning when Dr. Haddad was called in to prescribe for the gladiator of the night before.  His evidence is short and to the point.  He found the complainant in a highly nervous state suffering from bruises and abrasions which, in his opinion, were consistent with a "rough and tumble."  The general condition of the "patient" according to the Doctor was consistent with that of a man who made 'a night of it.'

   Subsequently, the complainant was attended by Dr. Strathearn whose examination disclosed that the right eye of the complainant was injured and needed rest and treatment.  He found (to out it in everyday language) that the complainant was suffering from the common or garden "black eye."

   It is on the facts, and in these circumstances, that the complainant has brought these proceedings five months after the occurrence.  It is not necessary for me to comment on the evidence given except to say that I have as little hesitation in discarding the version of the incident as given by the complaisant and his servant, as I have in accepting the defendants' testimony of what actually occurred.

   That these proceedings should ever have been brought is beyond my comprehension, and I feel compelled to remark that in my considered view the complainant has prostituted the process of the Court.  Were it in my power under the Law of Palestine, I would have no hesitation in deeming this prosecution  frivolous and vexatious one and in awarding the defendants substantial compensation for the trouble and expense they have been put to in  coming to Court to defend themselves.

   Finally I desire to inform the complainant that in the opinion of the Court all he has succeeded in doing by this ill-advised prosecution is to expose in public incidents in his private life which I trust he now realises are as degrading to him as their narration are  nauseating to those who have been compelled to listen to them.

   I find as a definite fact that the injuries sustained by the complainant were due to his own drunken actions, and that he received no more than he thoroughly deserved.

   The case against the defendants is dismissed with costs.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School