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Kfar Duma arson incident trial

Media invitation to the trial within a trial Thursday, March 15, 2018, 7:30 On Thursday, March 15 at 10:00 at the Central District Court in Lod the first stage of the closing statements in the trial within a trial of the Kfar Duma arson incident trial will be held. At the trial within a trial the matter of the admissibility of the confessions obtained during interrogations of the defendants will be judged. The admissibility is questionable is due to confessions having been obtained through torture. For approximately two years dozens of policemen and GSS interrogators have testified at court deliberations regarding the interrogations. Immediately prior to the deliberation the attorneys representing the defendants will make a statement to the media. Attorneys Tzion Amir, Itzik Bam, Adi Keidar and Asher Ohayon are representing the defendants.

The Kfar Duma trial within a trial Thursday, March 15, 2018, 12:49 Attorney Tzion Amir: “The interrogation was conducted entirely by torture and violent means.” At the Central District Court in Lod the closing statements stage of the first part of the trial within a trial has begun. Immediately prior to the deliberation the attorneys representing the defendants made statements to the media. Attorney Tzion Amir, who is representing the minor in the case, stated that, “We have reached the closing statements stage. I hope very much that one day the matters which arose during the trial within a trial, the facts and the details [which arose] during the testimonies and the interrogations of everyone, especially the GSS agents, will be revealed. The public should be very deeply shocked by how the interrogation of a minor who was not charged with murder, but rather with a charge connected to the murder, was conducted, and also by the manner in which the interrogation was conducted, completely by torture, violent means in various forms and by various methods. This matter shakes one to the core. It is impossible to come to terms with an interrogation conducted in this matter in a democratic society. I hope very much that in the end the court will state its piece concerning these fundamental issues.” Attorney Adi Keidar, who is also representing the minor, added that, “I hope that the court, for the first time, will accept our claims and reveal to the entire public the dramatic events which occurred during the interrogations: Violations of human rights, extreme violations of human rights, and we want to unequivocally clarify, despite the fact that this is a trial within a trial, that the defendant is not connected in any way to the Kfar Duma incident. We still do not know what happened in Kfar Duma. He [the minor] is not connected to the incident and the fictitious connection which was somehow made and written in the indictment, stems from the desire of the GSS to try to excuse the severe measures and the torture which they used on him. Otherwise there is no explanation for it [the fictitious connection].” Attorney Asher Ohayon, who is representing Amiram Ben Uliel, the main suspect, who was a minor at the time of the incident, spoke about the torture which Ben Uliel underwent: “Today we are at the start of the closing statements in court, and we will try to convince the court, we will invite the court to rule that such an interrogation as that which Amiram Ben Uliel underwent, had never been carried out in Israel. The most serious acts, which were carried out by systematically trampling every basic right, had never been done. Never in Israel had people been tortured in Israel as Amiram Ben Uliel was, not even terrorists whose hands have been dripping with blood for many years. It is obvious to all of us, to everyone who has been present during this long trial, and heard the GSS interrogators at exhaustive length, that the genuine aim of the interrogations, the method by which they were conducted, by cruel torture, was designed first and foremost in order to supply what GSS felt it was obligated to supply: The solution to what is called here the murder in [Kfar] Duma. It is completely obvious that someone was breathing down the neck of the GSS, and also the Prime Minister, who very publicly promised that a solution would be found, and the Defense Minister, who repeatedly promised that a solution would be reached. The GSS was obligated to answer questions, and in order to answer these questions they systematically trampled all of the most elementary rights of an Israeli citizen. “For three weeks Amiram Ben Uliel was cut off from all human contact other than his interrogators. He was deprived of sleep. And in the end when all of those means failed, the GSS interrogators raised the level and applied the most cruel methods of torture on him, which as I said, even terrorists had never undergone. “It is unbelievable, but for example, one of the methods of torture used was seating him handcuffed with his hands behind his back, on a chair without a backrest, and tilting his body backwards when it was impossible for him to stretch his body completely backwards. And thus, in this position, he was held in midair for extremely long periods of time. This is extreme torture. He called out to his interrogators, who described here unbearable situations, and he called out to his Father in Heaven. “This is reminiscent to all of us of the cries of Jews in a different place. The interrogators responded with a smirk. The methods of torture were cruel, very original, and had never been used in Israel until now. And thus after almost three weeks had passed, and he was maintaining his silence, his silence broke, as did his body, and his soul. In the hands of his interrogators he became as clay in the hands of a sculptor. The State of Israel would like to have these results authorized. As far as we are concerned, that is a request to justify the unacceptable. We hope very much that the court will say ‘Enough is enough’. G-d willing.”

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