Shin Bet interrogator called to testify in Duma arson trial

Evidence stage in Duma trial opens with calls not to allow investigation team head responsible for 'special methods' torture to testify.

Mordechai Sones,

Soldiers guard outside burnt house in Duma
Soldiers guard outside burnt house in Duma
Flash 90

The evidentiary stage in the trial of those accused in the Duma Affair opened this week in the Central District Court in Lod.

During this stage, dozens of prosecution witnesses are expected to testify during lengthy hearings that will take place every week for the coming months.

Attorneys Tzion Amir, Adi Keidar, Asher Ohayon, and Yitzhak Bam who represent defendants Amiram Ben Uliel and another minor are expected to cross examine the prosecution witnesses - GSS agents, police, eyewitnesses, and experts in an attempt to obtain acquittal for the defendants in the case.

The first prosecution witness is a Shin Bet agent called "Miguel", who has already testified in court at the pre-trial stage when judges examined the defendants' confessions admissibility.

The District Court dismissed the confessions extracted from the minor almost completely and also invalidated some confessions made by Ben Uliel. The court ruled the confessions that were disqualified were taken under improper physical pressure and therefore cannot be relied upon.

The District Court's decision was based, among other things, on testimony of the GSS interrogation team head who described the interrogation methods. His testimony at this stage, like his previous testimony, will be presented in a confidential and closed-door hearing.

In the course of his testimony, there were calls not to allow him to testify in the case but that he should be put behind bars. Uri Kirshenbaum, one of the "Duma Frame-up" Facebook page operators, said "The head of the investigation team, who is due to testify at the court, told during the pre-trial how he participated in torturing the interrogees. For example, he described how interrogators forced the interrogee's back backwards while he was shackled with his hands and feet and while he groaned in pain he shouted at him, 'Confess!'

"In a civilized country such a cruel person should be sitting behind bars. Every citizen in Israel should be concerned that the man who's a central witness in such a dramatic trial continues his work at the Shin Bet as if nothing has happened," added Kirschenbaum.

In his pre-trial testimony Miguel, who was present at some of the interrogations, confirmed that the measures employed were "painful and perhaps even very painful," as he had even tried them in the past.

The minor in his testimony described what happened in the interrogation when Miguel was present. "After a few minutes I started to scream, I cried for them and begged them to leave me alone and let me go. I really begged ... I asked what they wanted ... and then again was blindfolded. I don't remember the exact order, again slaps and blows to the back. Every time you turn back and forth and don't communicate with them - I'd lower my head and then they'd stick my fingers under my chin and lift it by force.

"My entire neck hurts and it interferes with breathing a little bit. They'd press in the entire rib area, grabbing the chest muscle and forcing fingers into the muscle, the muscles of the back, they'd insert their fingers by force, shaking you, screaming, cursing, humiliating you to the lowest possible level, And this is how it keeps going until finally I break down and ask what you want me to confess?" the minor continued describing.

Meanwhile, in recent days a new pamphlet called "The Duma Affair" has begun being distributed.

The booklet details how the files were trumped up for Amiram Ben Uliel and the minor A., ​​and how the indictment tells a baseless and unreliable story. The booklet has already reached thousands of people and has sparked a storm on social networks.




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