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GSS testimonies in Kfar Duma trial to remain under immunity

Thursday, September 6, 2018, 11:46 On Thursday, September 6, at a deliberation which took place at the Central District Court in Lod, the court partially accepted the request made by the Yediot Aharonot newspaper to open the Kfar Duma trial to the public, reveal the minutes and the testimonies of the GSS interrogators and expose what has been taking place far from the public eye. The court ruled that the deliberations in the Duma trial at which GSS agents do not testify will be open to the public. Concerning the request to reveal the GSS agents’ testimonies on the matter of the torture which the defendants underwent during interrogations, the court accepted the opinion of the Attorney General’s office and left the testimonies under immunity and far from the public eye. Attorneys Asher Ohion and Itzik Bam represented Amiram Ben Uliel in the deliberation. Attorneys Tzion Amir and Adi Kedar represented the minor. Prior to the trial Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, the director of Honenu, and associates of Amiram Ben Uliel, one of the defendants at the trial, voiced their support for revealing to the public the minutes of the trial and the testimonies of the GSS interrogators. Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, the director of Honenu, said that the Kfar Duma trial is reminiscent of the Ma’atz Gang trial: “The Duma trial is today’s Ma’atz trial. With the Ma’atz Gang, after innocent people sat for years in jail through no fault of their own, it turned out that their confessions and the recreation of the crime were extracted from them by force. The criminals remained at large. “In the Duma trial the [Supreme] Court ruled that the confessions were extracted under duress and many of the confessions by Ben Uliel and the minor were invalidated. And so it is not clear why the court made an artificial differentiation, and allowed the continuation of Ben Uliel’s trial on the basis of confessions extracted under duress and by torture. “It seems that also the judges understood the problem with the legality [of the torture], but lacked the courage, which [I believe] will come later, to rule that it is impossible to base anything on confessions extracted under duress.” Meidad added that, “The investigation is tainted. The investigators were not seeking justice, but rather confessions, and the results were dismal. The murderers from the Duma arson attack are free, and perhaps we will never find out what happened that night in Kfar Duma.” Associates of Ben Uliel hoped that the testimonies of the GSS agents, who described on the witness stand for many hours how they tortured him and the minor, would be revealed to the public: “We are certain that from the moment the public is exposed to the testimonies of how they [the GSS interrogators] tortured Ben Uliel no-one will remain indifferent. Everyone should read how the GSS agents calmly described how they tortured them [Ben Uliel and the minor] during interrogations. Everyone will understand that it is impossible to rely on what the defendants said there.” This was the first deliberation held since the minor was released from remand to house arrest.

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