Filing for indictment against Duma suspects today

Prosecutors to file for indictment on two suspects in lethal arson case, day after third suspect released.

Ido Ben-Porat,

Protest for Duma suspects in front of court
Protest for Duma suspects in front of court
Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

At the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court on Wednesday morning prosecutors are to file for an indictment against two of the Jewish suspects held for roughly a month in the lethal Duma arson case from July, in which an Arab couple and their baby son were murdered.

All of the details of the case remain under a media gag order, and even after prosecutors file for indictments the order will still prevent additional details from being reported.

One minor suspect in the case reportedly broke down and confessed last week after nearly a month of interrogation, but suspects have alleged brutal torture in the interrogation, raising concerns that the confession may have been false and inadmissible as evidence. Prior to the confession, officials admitted there was no evidence against the suspects.

The alleged torture has included sleep deprivation, sexual harassment, and extreme physical abuse. One minor suspect told the court last week he tried to commit suicide because he could not suffer the treatment any longer, and was ready to confess to anything just to get the interrogation to stop. His arms were found to be covered in numerous scars providing further backing to his statements.

The Honenu legal aid organization representing the suspects on Sunday filed a complaint on the reported torture and abuse being suffered by the suspects.

The Shin Bet and Israeli government officials deny the torture allegations, claiming the use of intense interrogation tactics have been purposefully exaggerated by defense attorneys to bring public pressure to bear against investigators.

On Tuesday the Lod District Court ordered one of the suspects to be released to a 10-day house arrest yesterday.

After being held for 29 days - during the first 20 of which he was denied legal consultation - police asked to extend his arrest based on alleged involvement in an unrelated quarrel with Bedouin shepherds two years ago, in a surprising request thrown out by the court.

Honenu reported Tuesday the Israel Prison Services (IPS) was refusing the order to release him, as State Attorney Shai Nitzan had a request issued to have the release delayed while submitting a petition. The group argued the delay was illegal, and apparently the IPS finally relented and released the man from the Lod District Court on Tuesday night.

His family released a statement shortly after the court ruled to release him, saying, "the entire argument in the court throughout stages of the arrest was that they're dealing with a ticking bomb as it were, and it was a lie from the beginning and they led the court, the politicians and the public astray."

"We call to establish a parliamentary investigation committee to examine the video tapes from the interrogation so that the truth behind the claims of torture will reach the light," added the family.