Daphna Carmon’s killers won’t be retried

Two men who raped and murdered 19-year-old soldier in 1987 say police forced them to confess.

Prison jail generic (photo credit: Courtesy)
Prison jail generic
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Supreme Court rejected an appeal on Wednesday by two men convicted of abducting, raping and murdering a 19-year-old soldier.
Brothers Kamal and Muhammad Sabihi were each sentenced to two consecutive life terms after being found guilty of abduction, rape and murder of Daphna Carmon in 1987, five years after the young woman from Haifa was found dead.
Two other men, Ataf Sabihi and Ahmed Kusli, were also convicted of Carmon’s murder.
Carmon was reported missing by her family on June 11, 1982, when she failed to return home after a day out with a friend.
Three weeks later, her remains were discovered by a shepherd near Usifiya on Mount Carmel. She had been brutally raped, then murdered.
Police struggled to find leads on the case, but three years after the murder, a man named Ahmed Kusli, later convicted for the 1983 murder of 14- year-old Danny Katz, offered to give information in return for turning state witness.
Kusli’s information led police to arrest Kamal and Mohammed Sabihi and their cousin Ataf Sabihi. Alongside Kusli, Ataf Sabihi was also convicted of the murder of Danny Katz.
This is not the first time the Supreme Court has rejected appeals by the Sabihi brothers.
They have requested both an appeal against their conviction and a retrial of the case. That retrial request had been rejected by then-Supreme Court president Aharon Barak.
The Public Defender's Office has claimed, among other things, that core documents were intentionally hidden from the defense during the trial and that testimony of another informant, Ali Ibrahim, was dubious because he had pressured Kamal Sabihi to confess by telling him his father was in prison.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Justice Ministry spokesman said that the Supreme Court had not ignored the fact that there had been various defects in the murder investigation.
“Nevertheless, the court held that there is no place to reconsider following the convictions of the appellants,” the spokesman said.
Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levi said that the decision to reject the appeal had not been simple.
“On the one hand, the appellants submitted new evidence that included information about their interrogation by police,” Levi said. “However, this evidence does not indicate how they came to admit their part in a crime they say they didn’t commit.”