Shin Bet’s Tortured Minor Victim Absolved
President Reuven Rivlin needs to explain why some of his clandestine police officers spent three years brutally abusing an underage boy who may never fully recover
[while i am so relieved that this poor soul will finally be free from his tormentors, my heart grieves at the injustice and horrendous cruelty that crushed his neshoma, may Hashem revive and nourish his soul]
A plea bargain is going to be signed on Sunday with the minor A, the co-defendant in the Duma village arson-murder case that took place July 31, 2015, when three members of an Arab family perished.
According to the plea bargain, the minor will confess to some price tag violations – setting fire to a car in the Arab village of Yasuf, burning down a warehouse in the village of Aqraba, and puncturing car tires in Beit Safafa, Jerusalem, while being completely absolved of any connection to the Duma case.
In addition, the State Attorney’s Office repealed the serious accusations against A in connection with the torching of the Church of the Dormition and other charges.
The plea bargain with A set the maximum sentence for the price tag violations at five years, and the defense will seek to settle for time served – about three years. It is possible that within a few months the minor will be released.
The plea bargain with A follows the acquittal of Yinon Reuveni and the minor Z who confessed to several serious price tag accusations. All three confessions, as well as parts of the confession of the last remaining defendant, Amiram Ben-Uliel, were thrown out by the courts after the judges determined that they had been given under physical torture.
Ben-Uliel may also benefit from what appears to be the collapse of the Shin Bet case, even with some of his testimony being kept by the court. In three years, the Shin Bet and the prosecution have not been able to synchronize the various and contradictory eyewitness accounts of the Duma event. Those had four Jews whose faces were covered escaping from the village towards Ma’aleh Efraim and two suspects, faces covered, standing near the burning house. The discrepancies between these much publicized versions of the event and Ben Uliel’s confession account for the delays during which none of the witnesses were allowed to take the stand.
In January 2016, a senior defense official told Israel Radio that it would have been impossible to “solve” the Duma village arson murder case without the use of torture and continuous physical pressure. According to the official, who wished to remain anonymous, all the actions taken against the minor were approved by the Supreme Court.
On the week following the arson in Duma, President Reuven Rivlin took a firm position against the arsonists, declaring: “My people have chosen terror.” He did so without an ounce of proof and should apologize. He won’t, of course, judging by his follow-up comment in December 2015, when he explained: “What happened in Duma wasn’t an ‘unfortunate incident’ or a ‘tragedy’ – it was a horrific crime. When I said ‘my people have chosen terror’ I naturally meant some of my people, the perpetrators, but saying ‘some of my people’ implies they are out there and we didn’t know about it. It’s clearly shirking responsibility.”
Now the president needs to explain why some of his clandestine police officers spent three years brutally abusing an underage boy who may never fully recover.
UPDATE: FUZZY SHIN BET TERMINOLOGY
[it seems there are 2 victims of the S”B and the above article is about only one of the two]
JEWISH PRESS: Earlier on Sunday we reported that a plea bargain had been struck between the prosecution and the minor A, the co-defendant in the Duma village arson-murder case that took place July 31, 2015. We also reported that, according to the plea bargain, the minor was going to confess to some price tag violations, but would be completely exonerated regarding the three murders in the Duma case.
The Shin Bet later in the day issued a response, stating: “As part of the legal proceedings in the matter of the minor accused of conspiring to carry out the attack in Duma, the defendant confessed today to his involvement in carrying out the attack, in which three members of the Dawabsha family were murdered. The defendant’s confession was given after he had argued throughout the entire process that he had nothing to do with the Duma attack and gave a false confession only because of the conditions he endured during his interrogation.”
The Shin Bet also decided to represent the prosecution’s view on the case, stating: “As part of its arguments for sentencing, the state will seek to make the minor’s punishment more severe, in view of the harsh consequences of the conspiracy in which he was involved,” and insisted that meanwhile “the trial of Amiram Ben Uliel, who is accused of committing the actual murders, continues.”
The Shin Bet statement quite clearly either contradicts the earlier version of events as reported in the Israeli press, or alters the components of the story to produce a new, possibly misleading version of the same plea bargain, ignoring the report that the prosecution deal sets 5 years as the top sentence for A, and the fact that the parts connecting A to the murder were dropped from the charges.
Legal aid society Honenu attorney Adi Keidar, representing A, issued this statement on Sunday, ahead of the Shin Bet attempt at face saving:
“The indictment and the plea bargain that were submitted to the court today are the result of the precedent-setting decision of the court, which rejected the confessions and ruled that the confessions were forced out of the defendant through the use of severe violence, about which the court harshly criticized the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Shin Bet.
“In general, any plea bargain is not free of difficulties, including this arrangement, but is by its nature an agreement between two legal parties that have reached an arrangement, and we stand behind the arrangement. The considerations were very clear.
“The first consideration that was stated clearly in court, and which was a deal-breaker for the defendant and his family, is the fact that this plea bargain and the amended indictment do not tie [our client] to defendant number 1 (Amiram Ben Uliel – DI), whom we hope and pray would also be acquitted of everything attributed to him.
“The second element that underlies our considerations is the future plans to try to rehabilitate the wounds that physically and mentally were inflicted [on our client] by the Shin Bet interrogators.
“In the end, anyone who compares [the original and current] indictments sees they are completely different from one another, [whereby the new indictment mentions] no damage to even a hair of any person, and [our client] is completely divorced from the murder in Duma, so that after three and a half years, it’s time for the defendant to try to rehabilitate himself, he is looking forward to be rehabilitated [medically and mentally] and we hope and pray that when the time comes, [our client] will be able to share with you the horrors he endured at the hands of his Shin Bet interrogators.”