Boy behind bars
Boy behind barsiStock

The Lod Central District Court today convicted of involvement in a terror organization the minor who in a plea bargain admitted connection to the Duma incident.

The court emphasized that the minor was a member of a terror organization, but can be formally convicted only after receiving a probation service report, as he was a minor at the time of the offense.

Lod District Court Justice Ruth Lorch, who chaired the panel, wrote "The existence of the terror organization and its affiliations are apparent from his words and actions. He admitted to having committed the offenses from a racist motive."

The incident took place in July four years ago when a house in the Arab village Duma was set on fire and a couple and their baby were burned to death. Another person was seriously injured in the incident.

After an intensive investigation by the Shin Bet, Amram Ben-Uliel was arrested and charged with murder, along with Minor A and other young men. Ben-Uliel and A's investigators used what is defined as "special measures", an administrative euphemism for torture.

Ben Uliel and A.'s attorneys conducted a pre-trial dealing with the reliability of the confessions extracted under torture. The court accepted their argument and disqualified the confessions, stating that they were obtained illegally.

The Shin Bet acknowledged that its torture of the suspects had caused one minor to submit a false confession, saying that he committed the arson together with the main suspect Ben-Uliel, who likewise cracked under torture. At the time it was argued that Ben Uliel's confession was likewise a false confession extracted under torture.

In a plea bargain signed between the prosecutor's office and the minor, the indictment attributing to him the planning of Duma was changed to a clause relating to him conspiring to commit a crime from a racist motive.

Attorney Adi Kedar of the Honeinu legal aid organization, who represents the minor together with Attorney Tzion Amir, said "we made weighty arguments in this matter, summaries were written, and we've now reached the decision stage.

"The verdict in this indictment had a significant impact not only on the punishment but on the entire case, a case in which the General Security Service stood on all charges, conducted it as a flagship case, and after the disqualification of the indictment following torture of the defendants. Now further review and acquittal of this charge will affect the continued proceedings and the rehabilitation of the accused,” Kedar concluded.

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