(photo credit: Reuters)
The Tel Aviv District Court on Wednesday ordered “Captain George,” the former
IDF interrogator who investigated Mustafa Dirani, to file a medical report to
back up his claims of psychological damage.
The hearing came after
“Captain George” filed a NIS 5.5 million lawsuit against the Defense Ministry in
January, claiming that he suffered damages as a result of Dirani’s rape
allegations. Judge Dalia Ganot urged the ministry and “Captain George” to
attempt to negotiate a resolution outside the courtroom.
George,” whose identity is subject to a strict gag order, served as an officer
in Unit 504 of the IDF’s Intelligence Division and was appointed to the
investigation against Dirani.
According to the lawsuit, filed by
attorneys Efi Nave and Hila Bodik- Kochman, the state deliberately concealed one
of the 47 tapes of Dirani’s interrogation. That tape allegedly shows that the
commander of “Captain George”’s unit was the person responsible for
interrogating and pressuring Dirani while he was naked.
hearing, Ganot said she would not hold the entire case behind closed doors, as
the state had requested, but would make decisions on a hearing-by-hearing
Only those hearings requiring discussion of classified material
would be in closed court, the judge said.
Ganot said she was “working on
the assumption that both sides are wise enough to try to resolve this dispute
outside the courtroom,” and the court fixed the next hearing for July
Dirani, who was released as part of a prisoner exchange in 2004 and is
now in Lebanon, is himself suing the state for NIS 6 million in damages –
claiming that while in administrative detention in Israel, interrogators had
raped him, sodomized him with a club, kept him naked for weeks and humiliated
him in an effort to extract information about missing IAF navigator Ron Arad’s
Shortly before “Captain George” filed his civil lawsuit in
January, the Supreme Court accepted a request by the state for a further appeal
hearing over Dirani’s damages suit.
A majority Supreme Court decision
last July dismissed the state’s appeal against a 2005 Tel Aviv District Court
ruling that allowed Dirani to go ahead with his lawsuit. Dirani filed the
lawsuit in the Tel Aviv District Court in 2000.
When the state appealed
that ruling and requested another Supreme Court hearing, Deputy Supreme Court
President Eliezer Rivlin agreed that an expanded panel of justices would review
the merit of the lawsuit.
The state has argued that the court should
dismiss Dirani’s lawsuit outright in accordance with Anglo- American law, which
prohibits enemies of the state residing in hostile countries from suing the
Dirani is a former leader of the Lebanese Shi’a terrorist group
Amal, whose forces captured Arad in October 1986 during a mission to attack PLO
targets near Sidon in Lebanon.
In 1994, Israeli special forces captured
Dirani in Lebanon, believing he had personal knowledge of Arad’s
Dirani was released in 2004 as part of a prisoner exchange
with Hezbollah, despite a High Court petition by Arad’s family to try to prevent
his release. In return, Hezbollah returned the bodies of three IDF soldiers
killed by the terrorist organization in October 2000, together with kidnapped
Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum.