Damian Karlik, the man convicted of murdering six members of the Oshrenko
family, insisted on standing up and addressing the Central District Court on
Thursday, as state prosecutors asked judges to hand down six consecutive life
sentences, the maximum punishment possible under the law.
Russian, Karlik told the court he wanted to “express his condolences” to the
“I read the protocols from the last court hearing and I
understand that I’ve been convicted of these terrible crimes,” Karlik said. “But
I never killed. I don’t deny being present at the events, but I did not
The 39-year-old was convicted of the October 2009 murders of
Ludmilla and Edward Oshrenko, both 56, their son Dmitry and his wife Tatiana, 32
and 28, and their children Revital, three, and Nataniel, three months.
Thursday’s hearing, shackled and surrounded by Prisons Service guards, Karlik
watched intently from the dock as attorney Oded Keller, prosecuting, said that
the murders were “the most severe and difficult case ever filed in
While state prosecutors in criminal trials usually present
examples from past cases to support their request for a particular sentence,
Keller told the judges that he could not do so because there were simply no
similar cases in Israeli legal history.
“This is a case where an entire
family of six people were murdered in the space of a single night, in their
apartment home, in a gruesome and cruel manner,” Keller said.
the judges – Avraham Tal, Ruth Lorch and Tsvi Dotan – that relatives of the
murdered Oshrenko family were too grief-stricken to attend the court hearing and
address the court. However, attorney Lior Sheni of the Noga Legal Center for
Victims of Crime was present in court on their behalf.
In asking for six
life sentences, one for each of the murdered Oshrenkos, Keller said that this
punishment would reflect the “sanctity of human life.” Keller also asked the
court to impose additional penalties for the other offenses Karlik was convicted
of committing – arson, robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime.
prosecution asked the court to order Karlik to pay compensation for the
Oshrenkos’ close relatives – Jana Oshrenko, the daughter of Ludmila and Edward
Oshrenko and brother of Dmitri Oshrenko; members of the Epstein family and
Tatiana Oshrenko’s father and brother.
To pay the compensation, Keller
asked the court to forfeit a sum of NIS 16,646 that was confiscated after the
state sold Karlik’s car.
Karlik’s defense attorney, Uri Keynan, asked the
court to refrain from imposing additional penalties on top of those for the
murder charges, on the grounds that the arson, robbery and conspiracy charges
were “an integral part of the events” of the murders.
Keynan also told
the court that Karlik has been held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day
ever since his arrest, adding that the state had requested these
“This is not an ordinary prison sentence, it is the maximum
security level, and the court should know that,” Keynan said.
Service guards led him away, Karlik spoke again to his lawyer, and said he
wanted to appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court.
trial Karlik had claimed that another man committed the murders, after forcing
him to be present in the Oshrenkos’ apartment during the
Karlik’s wife, Natalia, who was charged alongside her husband
in connection with the murders, was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment last
November after being convicted in a plea bargain of manslaughter, conspiracy to
commit a crime and destroying evidence.
According to the indictment, the
motive for the massacre had been Karlik’s hatred of the Oshrenkos, after they
fired him as a waiter from their Rishon Lezion familyowned restaurant, the
Premier, in 2008.
Karlik’s wife, Natalia, began working at the restaurant
soon afterwards, and the couple began to plot revenge, at first deciding to rob
To carry out the robbery, Natalia Karlik stole the
Oshrenkos’ keys and copied them.
However, the robbery plans resulted in a
Shortly before 2 a.m. on October 17, 2009, Karlik went
to the Oshrenkos’ apartment.
First, he woke 56-year-old Ludmila, the
family’s grandmother, stabbing her in the stomach as she cried for
After the first murder, Natalia Karlik telephoned her husband and
told her the rest of the Oshrenkos were on their way home. Damian Karlik
brutally stabbed Ludmila’s husband Edward and then Tatiana as they arrived at
Tatiana’s three-month-old baby Nataniel woke up then,
and began to cry. Karlik strangled the baby, then picked him up and threw him so
hard against the floor that his skull was fractured. Karlik then stabbed the
baby to death.
After murdering Nataniel, Karlik stabbed the child’s
The last member of the family to die was Dmitry. Karlik
lay in wait for him, and when he came home, at 6 a.m., he unleashed a frenzied
knife attack against his former employer, stabbing him at least 38 times. Karlik
then tried to set fire to the apartment to hide the evidence.
murders, Karlik and his wife fled to Taba in Egypt.
When the bodies were
found, police initially suspected that the Oshrenkos had been murdered in a
mafia hit, but suspicion soon fell on Karlik, and investigators discovered his
car in Eilat shortly after.
The Central District Court will pass sentence
on Karlik on December 27 at 1 p.m.