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Kfar Duma trial: Ben Uliel’s alibi not investigated

Friday, November 16, 2018, 8:05 In a recent Shabbat supplement to Yediot Aharonot, in an interview with journalist Yifat Erlich, Orian, the wife of Amiram Ben Uliel, the central suspect in the Kfar Duma case revealed that she provided investigators with an alibi for her husband that has not been examined. In the interview Ben Uliel related that her husband had been with her at home during the entire night of the Kfar Duma arson incident: “There is no way in the world that he did it. That night we went to bed late, at about half an hour after midnight and at about four in the morning I got up. He was at my side. I spoke to him,” stated Orian. “That morning I drove teenage girls who were in the summer camp at the Geulat Tzion outpost to a spring. A few days previously a friend of mine asked me to do so. We agreed that I would leave my baby with Amiram in order to have more room in the car. I was worried about doing so because my daughter had always been with me. I was still breastfeeding her. At five in the morning I was already making my first run with the girls to the spring. After that I made another run. There are many witnesses who saw me without the baby. I would not have left her alone. Amiram was watching her. I made another run to the store and on the way I called him to check that everything was all right with the baby.” “Perhaps he went out at night without you noticing?” “The indictment claims that he left at 23:00, passed the cave (in which the other defendant, A., slept, Y.E.) in the Yishuv HaDa’at outpost, went on foot and returned on foot. It is at least an hour and a half’s walk from there to Duma and another hour and a half’s walk from Duma to Adei Ad, where we were living at the time. The arson occurred at four in the morning. He would not have been able to return home from Duma by four thirty. Not only that, I would have heard had he left. We were living in a truck in Adei Ad. In order to open the door one had to kick it, and when it opened, it made a horrible noise. There is no way that he left and I didn’t hear it.” “Has anyone examined your statements?’ “I told all this to the attorney. For the entire first month that Amiram was detained the attorney requested that I be interrogated. “It didn’t interest anyone. They tortured him without interrogating me. Only before they issued the plaintiff’s affidavit did they interrogate me. I told them what happened that night, I gave them the name and phone number of my friend who had organized the camp in Geulat Tzion and of some of the teenage girls who were there. It seems to me that they didn’t do anything with it. It doesn’t interest them. They were pressured to solve the murder and file an indictment,” said Orian. Erlich did not stop with Orian’s statements and contacted the friend who, according to Ben Uliel, organized the event at the spring that morning, Sara Miriam Melet, a known hilltop activist. “Yes. I organized the ‘Camp Eretz Yisrael’. Several days in advance I asked Orian to save that night so that she could drive girls to the spring,” said Sara Miriam. Also, she stated, that same night, at a late hour she called Orian in order to remind her about driving the girls. “I heard her daughter crying in the background. Orian told me “Wow. How am I going to get up early in the morning?’ She is known as someone who finds if difficult to get up. Amiram was at home with her. I remember Orian asking him something. In the morning, at about four, I sent her a reminder, and verified that she had gotten up. At five she was already making the first run. “She left her daughter with her husband so that she would have more room in the car. She arrived without the baby. The baby was with her husband.” “Did anyone call you from the police or the GSS to clarify and verify the details?” “No. No-one has spoken to me.” In response Ori Kirshenbaum, one of the administrators of the “Duma Blood Libel” Facebook page campaigning to prove Ben Uliel’s innocence, said that, “It’s sad that a young woman has to see her husband rotting behind bars only because the GSS succeeded in covering up their failures with torture. [The reference is to the torture of innocent detainees instead of pursuit of the criminals.] The injustices and irregularities in the Zadorov case are nothing compared to the scandals occurring in the Duma Blood Libel Case. We believe that slowly, with the uncovering of evidence, the truth will be heard.” Ramon Zadorov was convicted of murdering a schoolgirl, Tair Rada, z”l, in 2006. A new development in the case reveals that important evidence has not been examined. From the “Duma Blood Libel” page: “Their [the police] line of reasoning caused the police to ignore the hairs found at the scene of the [Tair Rada murder] crime. After 12 years and only due to pressure from the defense attorney, have any hairs been examined – and only three.” In several weeks’ time the evidentiary stage of the Kfar Duma trial is expected to start. Recently the court decided that the deliberations in the trial would be held in an open courtroom. However the court did accept the objection of the GSS and the Attorney General’s office to publicizing the minutes of the trial within a trial in which GSS agents revealed how they had conducted “necessary  investigations”, a euphemism referring to applying violent force on interrogated detainees. The Central District Court ruled that Ben Uliel and another defendant, a minor, had been tortured during GSS interrogations. In light of the torture the court invalidated the confessions extracted from the minor by torture and also some of the confessions that were extracted under duress from Ben Uliel.

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