'There is no justification for sadism, Bennett'

Lawyer Keidar criticizes Jewish Home head, noting he has first-hand evidence of torture in Duma case, Shin Bet never denied using violence.

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Lawyers of the Duma suspects
Lawyers of the Duma suspects
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Attorney Adi Keidar of the Honenu legal aid organization, who is representing several Jewish suspects in the lethal Duma arson, sent a stern letter to Jewish Home chairperson Tuesday following the latter's support of the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) against serious allegations of torturing the suspects.

Bennett continued his statements on Wednesday, condemning the suspects after a confession was extracted from a minor suspect during the course of interrogation, in which he was allegedly sexually abused in addition to other forms of torture such as sleep deprivation. The reported abuse has raised concerns the confession may have been false and inadmissible as evidence.

"I was amazed to hear in the media the full backing you and those in your party gave to the brutal violence used against those being investigated," wrote Keidar in the letter seen by Arutz Sheva.

Aside from Bennett, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) made similar statements of support for the ISA on Tuesday, as did Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud).

Keidar emphasized that the ISA has not denied the claims of brutal torture by the suspects even once, "but rather only asked to give this violence legal justification and cover by the authority given to conduct this violence."

The attorney told Bennett that "the law does not give any agreement to exerting any sort of violence, certainly not of the intensity and sadism committed in this case."

"What's more, every intelligent person understands that this sort of activity has not been approved and is not to be approved towards any person under investigation, without distinction between religion, race and gender," said Keidar.

"First-hand evidence versus third-hand"

The lawyer spoke about the descriptions of torture he has received in testimony from the suspects, including having their bodies pulled into a bow-shape, fierce blows, and strikes to their sensitive organs.

He also noted the attempt of one of the minor suspects to commit suicide by slashing his wrists; the suspect told the court earlier this week that he could not suffer the treatment any longer and was ready to confess to anything they asked him to just to get the interrogation to stop.

The suspect's arms were found to be covered in numerous scars, providing further backing to his statements.

"I heard and saw first-hand what is happening in the investigation room, unlike you (Bennett) who are fed by claims being voiced by second-person and third-person sources," wrote Keidar.

"In these circumstances we found the need to turn to you while expressing discontent at this premature and artificial backing (for the ISA)," concluded the lawyer.

As noted, even after the letter was sent, Bennett on Wednesday condemned the suspects, accusing them of trying to "dismantle the state."

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is also representing one of the suspects, responded to Bennett on Wednesday, urging him to "speak with the detainees who were already released in the case, to hear first-hand what those detainees underwent, some of whom currently are on sedative pills, instead of taking the Shabak (ISA) briefings at face value."