Yihye Farhan 248.88.
(photo credit: Dror Artzi / JINI)
Labeled “manipulative and cold-blooded” by the judges who presided over his
murder case, Yihya Adwan Farhan was convicted by the Nazareth District Court on
Wednesday of murdering Israeli-American teenager Dana Bennet, Czech tourist
Sylvia Molrova and Aharon Simahov, a cellmate of Farhan’s during a brief
incarceration in a Tiberias prison.
The 32-year-old father of four from
the Galilee village of Wadi Hamam was also convicted of rape offenses, two
counts of kidnapping with intent to murder, and abduction.
with murder of Dana Bennet
killed for the sake of killing'
After a nearly
six-year search, Bennet’s remains were found in May 2009, buried in an orange
grove just outside of Wadi Hamam. Bennet, who was 18 at the time of her
disappearance, had vanished in the early morning on August 1, 2003, after
finishing a shift at a restaurant on the Tiberias boardwalk.
apprehension in 2009, Farhan initially confessed to Bennet’s murder, along with
the murders of Molrova and Simahov, and reenacted all of them for investigators.
Over the course of his trial, however, Farhan retracted the confessions,
alleging that they had been coerced, and instead attempted to lay the blame on
his accomplice in the crimes – a young woman who had immigrated from the former
Soviet Union and who cannot be identified because she was a teenager at the time
of the killings.
Nonetheless, judges rejected Farhan’s claims of a forced
confession, pointing to the strong evidence and testimony given by the
now-23-yearold woman, who led investigators to Farhan and Bennet’s remains, and
agreed to a plea bargain in the case. As part of that plea bargain, the woman
was charged and convicted of aiding in two of the murders, and is currently
serving a 14- year prison sentence for her role in the crimes.
Farhan’s verdict was read on Wednesday, Bennet’s mother, Vicky, told
she was satisfied with the court’s ruling.
“Justice was done today,”
Vicky Bennet said.
“I never believed it would turn out differently,” she
added. “It’s no consolation, but it is a relief.”
Jerusalem Post staff
contributed to this report.