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  • Uri DeYoung

Many irregularities in Kfar Duma case

Updated: Feb 17


Demonstration of torture methods; Photo credit: Otzma Yehudit

Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 16:34 On Sunday, March 1, a deliberation took place at the Central District Court in Lod in the trial of Amiram Ben Uliel, a defendant in the Kfar Duma case, who was tortured during GSS interrogations. The two sides, the Attorney General’s office and Amiram Ben Uliel’s attorney, presented their opinions and summarized their claims. Public figures were present at the deliberation in support of Ben Uliel.

Ben Uliel’s attorney, Asher Ohayon, presented many claims to the court which unequivocally cast doubt on the validity of his confessions, which were extracted under extreme duress during GSS interrogations, and called on the court to acquit him.

At the conclusion, Ohayon stated: “Throughout the court deliberation we tried to convince the judges that Amiram Ben Uliel’s confession should not be given any validity as evidence.”

Ohayon presented several significant claims and stated that, “We summarized our request from a great number of documents and pieces of evidence. We examined his confession from every angle and found a great many fundamental flaws.

“First and foremost, there is the testimony of an eye witness who saw two people hurling Molotov cocktails towards the house [that was set ablaze in the arson incident]. Even according to the prosecution Amiram could not have been one of the two. In the end we presented to the court the question of the validity of the testimonies that were submitted. If they are valid, then Amiram was not there. In our opinion this is a central claim with regards to the testimony, which proves the innocence of Amiram.

“Additionally, many more claims were presented, one of which is that the graffiti at the site was of two different handwriting styles, neither of which is Amiram’s. Two sets of very fresh shoe prints were found at the site, neither of which were identified as that of Amiram.”

Ohayon called on the judges to acquit Amiram: “According to the law, in order to acquit a man the court needs a reasonable doubt. With all of the contradictions that we presented there is much more than a reasonable doubt. We hope very much that the court will rise above the public mood outside of the courthouse and thoroughly examine the matter with judicial independence and hand down a verdict according to the law.”

Attorney Ohayon speaking after the deliberation; Video credit: Honenu

Several public figures were also present, among them former Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin, who stated that after it turned out that Ben Uliel’s confession was extracted under extreme duress, it was obvious that it was completely worthless.

Feiglin: “To reiterate, torture is meant for use in cases of ticking time-bombs. Here, they used it against Amiram and then presented his confession in court as a regular confession. Additionally, the witnesses for the defense pointed out a large number of contradictions in all of the evidence presented by the prosecution. All that is left for us to do is to pray that the defendants are released and that justice comes to light.”

Former Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin; Video credit: Honenu

Recently, during an interview on the Israeli Uvda investigative and current affairs program, Chief Superintendent Erez Amouyal, who led the Israeli Police investigation team in the Kfar Duma case, stated that he believed the eye witnesses, and not the version of events written in the bill of indictment. This is a harsh blow to the line of prosecution taken by the Attorney General’s office throughout the entire case.

Ori Kirshenbaum from Honenu: “The head of the investigative team does not believe the account reported in the bill of indictment. The prosecution is cynically attempting to deny testimonies from eye witnesses and evidence from the scene of the arson incident.

“The public already understands the extent of the scandal of the Duma Blood Libel. We hope that also the court will open its ears and act with integrity and not cave in to the pressure applied by the Attorney General’s office and the GSS. Amiram should be released home and the people who have led the blood libel should be brought to justice for it.”

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