Attorneys Yoram Sheftel and Itamar Ben-Gvir, who are representing the indicted Jewish suspects in the lethal Duma arson case from last July, held a special press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Their clients are Amiram Ben Ulliel, the main suspect in the case, and another as yet unnamed Jewish minor. The case has raised great controversy over the alleged brutal torture the suspects suffered at the hands of the Israeli Security Agency (ISA), which is said to have forced them to make false confessions – the ISA has already admitted at least one false confession was made.
Sheftel explained the goal of the press conference on Thursday was “to clarify the shocking picture regarding the investigation of those arrested in the Duma case.”
“The central question that needs to be tested in this case is not the question of the guilt or innocence of the accused. The question is whether the legal system, despite the pressure of the establishment that wants convictions in this case, will examine the details according to the regulations of the legal system.”
Sheftel emphasized that if the legal system will follow its own regulations, he has no doubt that the suspects will be found innocent.
“If the confessions are invalidated, there isn’t a shred of evidence. The great test is whether the legal system will stand before the pressure of the establishment,” he said.
The attorney stated that “we need to be clear – all of the outcomes, especially regarding the detainee Ben Ulliel, came to the world as a result of barbaric investigative efforts that included serious torture.”
“Is someone trying to influence the judges?”
Sheftel went on to say that the system specifically added the indictment of the second minor suspect in the case so as to ensure that the court hearings would take place behind closed doors.
“The only criminals in this case in terms of intentionally causing injury are the interrogators and those who sent them,” he said. “They are the apparent criminals.”
Ben-Gvir spoke at the press conference about the hearing the day before on Wednesday.
Family members of the Dawabshe couple and their infant son who were murdered in the arson attack nearly started a fight at court with the family members of the Jewish suspects, as Arab activists chanted “Allahu akbar,” meaning “Allah is greater” in Arabic.
“Ben Ulliel’s wife submitted a complaint after she was assaulted by members of the Dawabshe family, or those pretending to be members of the Dawabshe family,” said Ben-Gvir.
“Why did they let them into the court? Is someone trying to influence the judges and to turn the trial into a circus?”
Ben-Gvir emphasized that nationalist activists from Judea and Samaria were not allowed into the court throughout all of the hearings, while in contrast Arabs were allowed to enter freely.