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Verdict in Kfar Duma case read at Lod District Court

Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 15:20 The head of the panel handling the Kfar Duma case, Lod District Court Judge Ruth Lorch, stated that, “During the investigations the detainees were interrogated in ‘necessary investigations’ [interrogations in which intensive pressure is applied] which included physical means.” Confessions extracted during such interrogations were invalidated. The Central District Court in Lod ruled that during interrogations in the Kfar Duma case GSS interrogators used torture on the interrogated detainees. The court invalidated all of the confessions of the minor in the case which had been taken from him under duress. The court validated the confessions by the minor which were given when undercover interrogators spoke to him in the course of a ruse designed to get him to talk. Additionally the court invalidated the confessions of an adult which were extracted using torture during an interrogation, and also those taken during a subsequent interrogation. Some of the adult’s confessions were validated by the court. See here for a write-up of demonstration of the torture methods and here for more information about torture during interrogations in the Kfar Duma case. Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who represented the minor, stated that, “The court struck the GSS and the Attorney General’s office with a fatal blow, but beyond that, what is important is that the ruling invalidates the statements made by the minor during the period of time in which he was tortured by GSS interrogators.” See here for a response from the minor’s father. Attorney Tzion Amir: “We welcome the decision to invalidate the confessions by the defendant with mixed emotions. It took two and a half years to reach a verdict in his case that was self-evident from the start. The significance of the decision is most dramatic to the Israeli legal world, according to which investigating forces, whether they be the police or the GSS, must plan their actions according to the law, and not apply invalid measures. We applaud the court for their courage.” Honenu director Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad: “The youths were mercilessly coerced until they confessed. This was called ‘necessary investigation’, but in truth the only necessity was to extract confessions from them. “This was all done while the GSS lied as if this was a ‘ticking time bomb’ case, and as if they were going to prevent a terror attack. This crime was carried out in the name of the law. “There is absolutely no justification for this crime. When those tasked with upholding the law take advantage of the authority granted to them for cruelty such as this, they must stand trial, beginning with the torturers themselves, the GSS interrogators, and continuing to the ranks above them and the judges who blocked their ears to the cries of a youth who begged for his life – “I would rather die. Just don’t return me to the torture rooms” – and the government ministers and other public figures who knew [about the torture] and denied it. Not one of them can say, ‘Our hands have not spilled this blood’.” See here for a report of a suicide attempt by one of the detainees in the case. Itzik Bam, one of the attorneys who represented Amiram Ben Uliel: “It is obvious that the GSS caused physical pain and suffering to the interrogated detainee in order to force him to confess. A legal system that respects human dignity cannot reconcile itself with admitting confessions extracted by deliberate physical suffering. The fear that the torture would resume is the only reason for the interrogated detainee continuing to confess in the interim between the torture sessions.”

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