Interview
'Duma confessions under torture can be canceled'

Attorney explains that if ISA is truly abusing suspects, court can rule out admissions; 'a person will say anything to be allowed to sleep.'

Benny Tucker,

Protesters supporting Duma suspects (file)
Protesters supporting Duma suspects (file)
Arutz Sheva

Attorney Ariel Atari, a senior criminal defense attorney, told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that if the admission of one of the Jewish suspects in the lethal Duma arson case was indeed extracted under torture as has been testified, it can be canceled.

"Reducing the hours of sleep is problematic," said Atari. "The court will need to clarify how much the admissions reveal the truth, or if they were said under pressure. The more they harm a detainee, the less chance there is that the admission reveals the truth. A person without sleep could say a lot of things just so that they let him sleep."

Aside from sleep deprivation, the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) investigators have been accused by the suspects of harsh torture, and on Tuesday they were likewise accused of sexually abusing a minor suspect during the course of the interrogation.

In the past there have been cases in which the court canceled admissions extracted under pressure, said Atari, noting that "four months ago I represented a youth from Jerusalem who admitted to lighting the car of an officer on fire."

"He admitted and reenacted the arson. In the end, we convinced the court that he admitted and reenacted due to the emotional state he had been placed in, and the court was convinced and despite that he admitted, they acquitted him."

The lawyer expressed his concern over the ISA investigation, saying, "we must oppose any torture in investigation, the more the Shabak (ISA) crosses red lines, the  more it will find itself in a hopeless situation."

"Also to those being interrogated I would say not to exaggerate claims of torture, and that the claims should be measured and detail what is close to the reality, because if they exaggerate, their level of reliability in the court will decrease," he added as a note of caution.

Damning audio evidence released earlier this week during a court hearing revealed one suspect testifying that he attempted suicide and begged for the ISA to kill him because he could not bear the torture any longer. The suspect's arms were found to be covered in numerous scars, providing further backing to his statements.

Psychologists and social workers have issued a petition to stop the torture they argue is illegal under Israeli law, and likewise civil rights groups have called to investigate the ISA over the apparently illegal torture, but a string of politicians gave their full support to the ISA on Tuesday.




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