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Will GSS agents’ testimonies of torture be revealed?

Thursday, September 6, 2018, 8:40 On the morning of Thursday, September 6, a deliberation in the Kfar Duma trial will be held at the Central District Court in Lod. The sides are expected to present their standpoints concerning the continued handling of the trial. Two months ago, in light of the torture that the defendants had experienced at the hands of their GSS interrogators, the Supreme Court invalidated the majority of the confessions made by the minor and some of the confessions made by Amiram Ben Uliel. Additionally the court will rule on the request by the Yediot Aharonot newspaper to open the trial to the public, reveal the minutes and the testimonies and expose what has been taking place far from the public eye. Associates of Ben Uliel hope that the testimonies of the GSS agents, who described on the witness stand for many hours how they tortured him and the minor, will 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 will read how the GSS agents calmly described how they tortured them [Ben Uliel and the minor] during interrogations. Everyone will understand that it is not possible to rely on what the defendants said there.” This is the first deliberation to be held since the minor was released from remand to house arrest. Attorneys Asher Ohion and Itzik Bam will represent Ben Uliel in the deliberation. Attorneys Tzion Amir and Adi Kedar will represent the minor. 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.”

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