'We are here to do justice for our parents'

Tamar Maoz testifies at Jerusalem District Court against brother Daniel, who is accused of murdering parents.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
March 7, 2012 15:36
3 minute read.
Daniel Maoz at J'lem District Court

Daniel Maoz at J'lem District Court 150. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The trial of the horrific double murder of Nurit and Noah Maoz began on Wednesday in the Jerusalem District Court, as the couple’s daughter, Tamar, testified against her brother Daniel, who is accused of killing his parents in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot in August 2011.

“I believed Danny was connected,” Tamar Maoz said in her testimony on the first day of his trial. “One of the first thoughts that I had was that he was connected. I didn’t think that he did it, but I thought he was connected.”

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Daniel Maoz, 28, is accused of murdering both of his parents on August 14, after racking up hundreds of thousands of shekels in gambling debts.

He was arrested at his apartment in Tel Aviv on September 11, nearly a month after the murders. In addition to the two counts of murder, Daniel is also charged with cleaning up the crime scene to destroy evidence against him.

Nurit worked at the Justice Ministry and Noah worked at a dentists’ office in Malha.

“We came to do justice for our parents,” Tamar said before entering the courtroom.

“This is a difficult day for us, one of the most difficult days in the last few months,” she said, imploring the public to help guard her family’s privacy.

Tamar testified that two years before the murder, Daniel had been alone in his parents’ home when he claimed that two burglars with covered faces broke into the apartment, stole valuables and cash, and ran away.

The family knew the story was false but decided not to press charges in order not to damage Daniel’s career as a lawyer, Tamar said.

The family had struggled with how to deal with Daniel’s gambling addiction, and was considering options such as forcing him to live at home and not in Tel Aviv, or placing him in rehab, Tamar testified. The night of the murder, the family had a long talk and asked Daniel if he was connected with the murders, but he insisted that he was not and that he had stopped gambling, she said.

Nir Maoz, Daniel’s twin, will also testify against his brother in a closed-door hearing. Ofra Weisman, Nurit’s sister, testified that immediately following the murders, Daniel was desperate to get money, trying to sell the family’s paintings and look for other expensive items in the house to sell, despite the protestations of other family members to “let things be” in the interim.

Daniel originally claimed to be in Tel Aviv during the murder, and when forensic investigators found his blood at the scene, he changed his story and told police he had been home when the murderers broke in but was too scared to call the police because he thought they would suspect him instead.

According to the investigation, police believe Daniel arrived at his parents’ home Saturday evening and watched television with his father while his mother prepared for bed. Sometime shortly before 11:00 p.m., he got into an argument with his father and allegedly began stabbing him with a knife from the kitchen. His mother came into the room to help but he also stabbed her to death, police say.

Tragically, neighbors heard screams and shouts of “He’s murdering me!” but did not notify police. Police called the actions of the neighbors “regrettable.”

According to investigators, Daniel returned to Tel Aviv after the murder and did a variety of errands, including getting gas, taking money out of an ATM and visiting some of his gambling associates in an apartment. They told police Daniel was acting very strangely, asking questions about whether authorities could track people’s whereabouts using cell phones, and that his appearance was disheveled with spots of blood on his shirt and a wound on his hand.

Police said Daniel then returned to the apartment in Ramot and tried to clean up the crime scene, tampering with the evidence.


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