The Kfar Duma case – Unanswered questions
The black car, selective validation of testimony
The third detail of the supposed “concealed information” carries with it a tale of legal acrobatics that the court performed in order to convict Ben Uliel. According to the Attorney General’s office, Ben Uliel gave a detail indicating “concealed information” when he said that a black car was parked outside of the house. However, when the police investigators arrived at the scene of the arson that night, there was no black car next to the house.
The Attorney General’s office claimed that in his testimony, eyewitness Ibrahim Dawabsheh said that he moved a black car that had been next to the house. Ben Uliel’s testimony corroborates that of Ibrahim Dawabsheh with regard to this detail of “concealed information”, the black car.
However, there is a problem. The Attorney General’s office claimed that Ibrahim Dawabsheh’s testimony was unreliable. If it had been accepted, then Ben Uliel would have been immediately released. The testimony of this eyewitness (and others), which states that there were two perpetrators, completely contradicts the version of events written in the bill of indictment, and also Ben Uliel’s false confession. The Attorney General’s office has a solution.
The Attorney General’s office claimed that there was a need to partially and selectively accept testimony from the eyewitness, a legal procedure customarily used when a defendant admits to a crime they committed with others. In such a case, the self-incriminating testimony is invalidated and the testimony regarding the other perpetrator is accepted.
In the Duma case, the eyewitness was not believed with regard to his testimony of how the arson attack was carried out, but was believed with regard to his testimony of there being a black car next to the house. In other words, where it helps them convict Ben Uliel, they believe the eyewitness, and where it interferes with the conviction, they do not.
Despite the absurdity, the court decided to selectively admit testimony. They believed Ibrahim Dawabsheh regarding a minor detail, but did not accept the most important segment of his testimony. Thus Ben Uliel was convicted on the basis of two details of “concealed information” that do not match the definition, and on the basis of a third detail from a testimony that according to the court is false.
Since the July 2015 arson attack on the Dawabsheh family’s house in Kfar Duma, Honenu has assisted many Jews accused of involvement with the crime. For a selection of posts describing Honenu Attorneys’ representation of defendants and GSS interrogatees, click here. To familiarize our readers with the case, Honenu has gathered – click here – various articles and short videos on the subject.