Judge urges Capt.George, state to negotiate outside court

Tel Aviv District Court judge urges "Captian George," state to resolve issues outside of the courts.

March 7, 2012 13:45
2 minute read.

Dirani_311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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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.

“Captain 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.

In Wednesday’s 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 basis.

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 9.

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 whereabouts.

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 state.

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 whereabouts.

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.

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