Kfar Duma trial: Verdict handed down to minor

Demonstration of torture methods; Photo credit: Otzma Yehudit

Demonstration of torture methods; Photo credit: Otzma Yehudit

Thursday, October 24, 2019, 11:00 Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar and Attorney Tzion Amir, who are representing the minor tortured by the GSS during interrogations in the Kfar Duma case, strongly criticized the Central District Court’s decision to convict the minor of belonging to a terror organization. Both attorneys made public statements to the press after the verdict was handed down.
Attorney Tzion Amir: “We were extremely surprised by the court’s decision concerning whether or not the defendant belongs to a terror organization. At the deliberation in which summaries were given about this charge, there was not a shadow of a doubt with regards to the position of the court on this charge. The statements from the court, from the judges, were so severe and definitive. There was an explicit request addressed to the prosecution. In fact it could not have been more clear that they should have agreed to acquit the minor defendant.
“We do not know how to explain this 180-degree reversal. I have been in courts for many years and it is hard for me to recall anything similar. The court’s position was so clear. Other than signing on the acquittal on the charge of belonging to a terror organization, everything had been said. We came to hear that [the defendant] had been acquitted on this charge. That did not happen. However we will reach the Supreme Court concerning this matter.
“The Supreme Court must determine whether or not the bravado of a minor aged 15 or 16 turns him into a terrorist, because he, lets say, punctured the tires of a car. This is a complicated question. I am certain that we will hear more about this at the Supreme Court. We would like to reiterate that he had been charged with murder and with being an accomplice to murder. These charges were dropped. Not even the charge of conspiring to murder remains. They must apologize to the minor who was detained and underwent extremely severe interrogations in the form of the torture he endured while under interrogation.
“At the long, intense and prolonged trial within a trial the court accepted our pleas and invalidated the confessions which had been extracted under a serious violation of his fundamental rights and against his volition. This should be remembered. So as we are here, particularly in this place, after [the defendant] was charged with the most serious crime, murder, and acquitted of it, we should remember this. And we should tell the entire Israeli public, Jewish and Arab alike, that that verdict must be honored. This we do not forget.”

Attorney Tzion Amir; Video credit: Honenu
Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar added, “We were very surprised by the decision. You all remember, you were all here and present, witnesses to the definitive and clear statements that the court made to the office of the Attorney General two months ago. The court went over each and every claim and distinctly told the office of the Attorney General, black on white, that they didn’t have a case, that they should retract the charge, and this was not the first time a judge told them so.
“The decision today was astounding, because there had been no new developments, and in a surprising manner the court accepted the position of the Attorney General’s office. It is difficult for me to understand what occurred during the court recess.

Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar; Video credit: Honenu
“The court, of course, stated in their conclusion that our claims would be reflected in the penalty handed down, but we are not satisfied with that. That was a nice decision. However we will not settle for it. We will appeal this entire decision, all of its aspects, all of its conclusions, everything that came out of the ruse [designed to get detainees to falsely incriminate themselves] and all of the statements attributed to the defendant which constitute the basis of the conviction.”
In June 2018 the Central District Court in Lod ruled that during interrogations in the Kfar Duma case GSS interrogators used torture on the interrogated detainees. All of the minor’s confessions which had been extracted from him under duress were invalidated.

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