Photo Credit: Courtesy Honenu
Attorney Adi Keidar before the Duma hearing, March 15, 2018

The summation phase of the first part of the July 31, 2015 arson and murder trial in the Arab village of Duma began on Thursday at the Central District Court in Lod, Honenu reported.

Before the hearing Thursday, lawyers for the defense reported to the media that the two suspects, Amiram Ben-Uliel and a minor, had initially been cut off from any human contact for three weeks, other than their interrogators. They were not allowed to see a lawyer and certainly not their relatives. They were deprived of sleep and underwent daily interrogations that involved threats and intimidation.

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Finally, when these means had failed, Shabak interrogators used on them the most brutal kinds of torture that even Arab terrorists had never received. The torture was carried out with the approval of the Attorney General and the Supreme Court under the pretense of a “ticking bomb,” despite the fact that there were no credible expectations of additional arson cases.

Attorney Zion Amir, who represents the minor in the case, said, “As we have reached the summation stage, I very much hope that one day the things that arose during the trial, especially the facts that were revealed in the Shabak agents’ testimonies, will be exposed.

“The public will be deeply shocked by how an investigation was conducted against a young minor who was not charged with murder—only with a connection to the murder but not with murder. How an investigation was conducted that consisted entirely of threats and the use of violent means in all forms and in all means. It shocks the mind, it is impossible to accept an investigation conducted in such a manner in a democratic society. I very much hope that in the end the court will speak up about these fundamental issues.”

Attorney Adi Keidar, who also represents the minor, stated: “The court must accept our claims for the first time, and expose the entire public to the dramatic events that occurred during these interrogations – violation of human rights, extreme violation of human rights, and we want to clarify unequivocally, even though this is only a preliminary trial at the moment: our defendant had nothing to do with the incident in Duma. In fact, none of us know what happened in Duma, but he had nothing to do with it – and the fictitious connection that was made one way or another in the indictment, stems from the Shabak’s desire to justify the harsh measures and torture that were used against him. There’s no other explanation.”

Attorney Asher Ohayon, who represents the main suspect, Amiram Ben-Uliel, spoke of the torture Ben-Uliel had suffered: “We are at the beginning of the summations in court, and we will try to convince the court, we will invite the court to determine that the kind of interrogations used on Amiram Ben-Uliel had never before been used in Israel. Not even against terrorists with dripping blood on their hands.

“It is clear to all of us, to everyone who has been present during this long trial, and has heard the Shabak interrogators testifying, that the real purpose of the interrogations in the manner in which it was conducted, was first and foremost to deliver the goods the Shabbak felt obligated to deliver, namely a a solution to the riddle of the murder in Duma. Clearly, there was pressure on the Shabak, and on the prime minister, and even the defense minister, who repeatedly promised to solve the arson murder in Duma.

“The Shabak was pressed to solve the crime, and in order to do so, it trampled all the basic rights of an Israeli citizen. It is unbelievable, but, for example, one of those torture routines was to have him handcuffed behind his back, without a back support to the chair, with his body tilted back but unable to stretch it all the way back. And he was kept this way for hours on end, until he cried out to the interrogators – who described here terrible acts, and he cried out to his father in heaven.

“It reminds us of the cries of Jews elsewhere,” Ohayon said, noting that “the interrogators responded with a smirk.”

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