Gavel from Reuters 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Chip East)
A Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court decision to throw out an accused’s confession
on the grounds that the police had violated his rights – by declining to explain
them to him and by telling him he would be freed only if he confessed – was
announced by the court on Wednesday.
The decision itself, regarding Moshe
Cholaker’s confession, was issued last Thursday.
According to the
indictment, in Lod on March 16, 2010, the accused stripped off his pants and
displayed himself publicly in a sexually indecent manner in front of nearby
These allegations were based on a confession made by the accused
to police during his interrogation.
However, the defense later denied the
confession and claimed that Cholaker only confessed because he was told that if
he refused to, he would be held indefinitely, whereas if he confessed he would
In addition, the accused claimed that when he was initially
questioned he was not informed of his rights, including the right to remain
silent and the right to legal representation.
Cholaker said that his
confession was given to a second investigator, after the first had convinced him
to confess; and that only the second discussion was recorded by the
The state argued that there was only one transcript and one
interrogation, and that the transcript showed no irregularities.
the court found the accused’s version more believable because there were
irregularities prior to the interrogation.
The arresting officer admitted
that he did not fill out an initial report regarding the arrest, and could not
explain why. This officer also admitted that the one report which he did prepare
regarding the arrest, was prepared hours later than usual, but he was unable to
The court surmised that the delay in preparing the report
occurred because the officer did in fact perform an improper, off-the-record
interrogation in which he pressured Cholaker to confess in the later
Since the accused expressed no doubt about his version of
events and the officer said he could not remember or really specifically deny
the account, the judge declared the confession inadmissible.
technically the state could still try to convict the accused with other
evidence, the loss of the confession undermines the heart of the state’s case
and leaves the police open too serious criticism.