Police have signed an agreement with LGBT activist Shaul Ganon for him to serve
as a witness in the 2009 Bar Noar murder case, a detective said during a remand
hearing for the three suspects in the murder on Sunday.
The remand of the
suspects – Hagai Felician, Tarlan Hankishayev and a third individual whose name
cannot be released – was extended by another week.
Having a second
witness should help augment the police’s case, which at the moment rests almost
solely on the testimony of the state witness who cracked the case – a close
relative of Hankishayev.
That witness, who four months ago told police he
knew who committed the Bar Noar murders, would most likely prove shaky in trial,
as the witness was in prison for a violent crime and secured an early release in
exchange for his testimony. That violent crime was only the latest on the
witness’s long rap sheet, stretching back to his juvenile years.
the end of the remand extension on Sunday, the third suspect, a younger relative
of Felician, stood up and repeated his request for his name to be released and
denied that he had ever been sexually assaulted or met Ganon. The suspect also
offered to take a lie detector test.
“I want to say something – I was
never raped, never in my life did a man touch me! I don’t think there needs to
be a gag order on my name and I am asking to lift the gag order. This is all
lies,” the younger suspect said.
The case against the three suspects
hinges on the claims of the police and the state witness that Ganon sexually
assaulted the younger suspect, creating the motive for the alleged revenge
attack at Bar Noar, where two people were killed and 11 wounded.
said that the third suspect worried that Felician would find out that he had sex
with a man, so he decided to tell him he was raped.
questioning of YAMAR Tel Aviv detective Yoni Hajij, further details of the case
emerged, including that only four days before police arrested the three
suspects, the state witness went with the younger suspect and mutual friends to
a Tel Aviv water park.
The detective also confirmed that, during the week
of the arrest, the younger suspect and the witness went to the witness’s house,
where the witness told him that Ganon sexually assaulted him.
would not reply to the attorney’s question if he could confirm that the younger
suspect told the witness that he had never heard of Ganon or Bar
During the hearing, each of the suspects’ lawyers took turns
questioning the detective, and time and again criticized what they said was a
weak case that lacked evidence, including a gun they can link the suspects to,
or any eye witnesses who saw them on the night of the murder near or at the
scene of the crime.
Police also confirmed that, so far, the only
suspicion they have against Hankishayev is that he supplied Felician with a ski
mask before the crime, with each lawyer brushing off the suspicion as strange,
being that Felician could have easily just bought his own mask, and that there
is no way to confirm that Hankishayev knew the mask was to be used in a
Police said Hankishayev was also heard on tape telling the
witness not to talk about the Bar Noar case.
As the lawyers continued
their questioning, the detective revealed how, while the witness was working for
police, he recorded evidence for a series of charges against the defendants,
almost all of them severe but none of them involving the Bar Noar
This included the sale of 100 Ecstasy pills by Felician, a
number of burglaries and the transportation of an explosive device by
Hankishayev, as well as a wiretap recording in which the younger suspect orders
a gun from the witness, so he can settle a score with someone whom he had a
Attorneys were also unable to get a clear answer from
Hajij about which of the suspects told the witness that he needed help plotting
a revenge attack on Ganon.
The detective said that police have been
trying to plan a confrontation between Ganon and the younger suspect, but were
not able to make it happen. He would not explain why.
Moshe Sherman said in court on Sunday, “This is a complicated case that police
revealed too early, and now they don’t know how to get out of this
Hankishayev’s attorney Shimshon Weiss, for his part, said that
“this entire case is based on the words of a man who himself was investigated in
connection to the case four years ago and suddenly now decided to create this
version of events.”
Weiss added that the witness had his own interests
for implicating the three suspects.
On Friday, the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s
Court released Ganon on two-weeks house arrest
. He was detained on suspicion of
sexually assaulting the third suspect, who was 15 at the time.
exited the court, Ganon denied the allegations against him.
“I know that,
while I have been under arrest, there has been a great deal of rumors circling
around, put out by people with vested interests, which have no basis in the
truth. My arrest and the besmirching of my name have done great damage and great
pain to my family, my friends and myself,” he said.