Chaim Perlman
Chaim Perlman Israel news photo: Channel Two

The Perlman-Shabak struggle continues to be waged on two fronts, legal and psychological. Perlman's friends release another tape.

Chaim Perlman, a 30-year-old father of three under arrest on suspicion of killing four Arabs 12 years ago following a wave of terrorism, has filed an appeal against the order initiated by the Shabak (Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet) preventing him from meeting with a lawyer. 

The temporary order against meeting his lawyer is set to end at midnight tonight. Such orders are often automatically extended, however, and therefore Perlman and his lawyer - Adi Keidar of the Honenu legal rights organization – want their appeal to be heard as immediately as possible. Despite this, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal only on Wednesday morning at 9:00 – 33 hours after the expiration of the order.

Perlman has also asked to have the court venue moved from the Petach Tikvah Magistrates Court to Jerusalem, where the crimes he is accused of committing were perpetrated. It is widely felt that the Shabak enjoys a type of "home court" advantage in Petach Tivkah, where the court invariably rules in its favor.

Attorney Keidar says that the charges against his client have not been specified, and that he has asked the court to check whether Perlman was a minor when they were committed. Perlman is 30 years old, and the murders allegedly happened 12 years ago.

Another Arrest

In addition, the Shabak has announced that another arrest has been made in connection with the case. It released no details, other than to say that the new arrestee would also not be allowed to meet with his lawyer – Adi Keidar. Keidar asked the court if there was any problem of conflict of interest in him representing both Perlman and the new arrestee, and was told that there was not.

Given this response, sources close to Perlman say, it is not clear why the Shabak says the two are connected – other than to exert further pressure on Perlman and to create an atmosphere against him. "The Shabak is frightened that we will reveal more tapes," a source said.

Confession Under Duress?

It was implied that the only evidence against Perlman is a possible confession he might have made; sources close to him said that if so, it was extracted under pressure.

A tape of a Shabak agent meeting with Perlman several weeks ago and enticing him to kill Islamic Movement chief Raed Salah was released to the media last week, prompting tremendous criticism of the methods of the Shabak's Jewish section. "It's one thing to try to get information in a clandestine manner," it was said, "but to actually try to provoke a crime is to cross all red lines."

Another tape has meanwhile been released, in which Perlman is heard admitting to having fought physically with Arabs on occasion.

Out in the Cold

Last Friday, in yet another front between the Shabak and Perlman, sources close to the latter said he was being held in near freezing conditions, in temperatures of between 5 and 8 degrees Centigrade (41-46 Fahrenheit). His family sought to send him warm clothing, but the security forces did not allow it. "This is yet another red line that has been crossed," sources close to Perlman said.