In Pursuit of Justice; Photo credit: Honenu
See here for a complete listing of podcasts and links to summaries in English. Wednesday, July 7, 2021, 18:43 In June 2021, Honenu launched a weekly Hebrew-language podcast, HaMerdaf Aharei HaTzedek (In Pursuit of Justice), the first episodes of which delve deep into the Kfar Duma arson case (the arson attack occurred in 2015 on the night between Thursday, July 30 and Friday, July 31). In the third episode, Honenu’s Ori Kirshenbaum hosted Professor Boaz Sangero, a leading authority in criminal law, who stated that “Israeli criminal law – not pleasant to say it – lags behind,” and addressed Amiram Ben Uliel’s conviction. (All translations from the Hebrew original are by Honenu.) Professor Sangero explained that in Israeli criminal law a great deal of weight is given to “traditional evidence,” even though research studies show that such evidence contains many errors. For example, he cites data from the American “Innocence Project”, according to which “[concerning] the most serious crimes of rape and murder, it has been proven that 5% of the convictions are erroneous.” Kirshenbaum confronted Professor Sangero with the fact that he’s been called an “extreme defense attorney”, and inquired: “Do you ever stop and ask yourself if you aren’t supporting the struggle of a dangerous individual who is liable to be released to freedom?” The professor responded: “My conscience is completely clean. I think that the [judicial] system errs in thinking that it’s good. It makes many errors. The system is not careful.” Professor Sangero added that over the past few years he has studied the topic of safety, the necessity for which in the aviation and traffic control professions is self-evident. “In the criminal judicial system, nobody has heard of it. [Judges] convict people without due caution.” Professor Sangero gave his opinion on the Kfar Duma arson case: “I am horrified by what happened there. The court admitted a confession that was given after torture. When a man is tortured and he confesses, anyone with eyes in his head understands that the confession is inadmissible.” The professor specified that maybe Amiram Ben Uliel committed a crime, and maybe he did not, but what is certain is that “I can’t determine that he committed a crime based on a confession that he gave after being tortured.” Ben Uliel was convicted on three counts of murder in the Kfar Duma arson case. For more details, click here for an article (in English), “What is the value of confessions made under torture?” by Professor Sangero. Furthermore, Professor Sangero leveled criticism at the police: “If the police had done their job like they should have, and if he [Ben Uliel] had committed the crime, then they should have found evidence. They did not find evidence. It’s laughable to see what they regarded as details known only to the perpetrator: whether he opened the window from left to right or from right to left.” During the interview, Kirshenbaum read aloud the decision by Justice Esther Hayut in the case of Tariq Nujidat, who was falsely convicted of murdering IDF soldier Oleg Shaichat, but later released after the actual terrorist was apprehended. Nujidat and two other Arab citizens of Israel were convicted of the murder based on their confessions, which included details that could have been known only to someone familiar with the crime scene. Their confessions turned out to be false. However, in her decision, before the genuine terrorist was apprehended, Justice Hayut wrote: “The evidence described provides a solid basis for convicting the appellants of the crimes attributed to them.” Below are links to the third episode of the In Pursuit of Justice podcast – Hebrew only – on YouTube, Spotify, and Anchor. YouTube, Episode 3 Spotify, Episode 3 Anchor, Episode 3 A new episode of the podcast will be aired every week. In the coming weeks, the podcast will focus on the Kfar Duma arson case in light of the appeal filed with the Supreme Court. The varied interviewees, who are well acquainted with the case from different angles, will shed light on the interesting and diverse aspects of the case: legal, social, and communal. In the first episode, Honenu’s Ori Kirshenbaum hosted HaAretz journalist Chaim Levinson, who covered events in Yehuda and Shomron at the time of the Kfar Duma arson and was one of the first journalists on the scene hours after the incident. In the second episode, Kirshenbaum hosted Attorney Yoram Sheftel, who represented Amiram Ben Uliel in the early stage of his trial, but left the case due to distortions of justice. Since the July 2015 arson attack on the Dawabshe family’s house in Kfar Duma, Honenu has assisted many Jews accused of involvement with the crime. For a selection of posts describing Honenu Attorneys’ representation of defendants and GSS interrogees, see here. To familiarize our readers with the case, Honenu has gathered – see here – various articles and short videos on the subject.