State indicts 4 police officers for detainee abuse

Officers allegedly poured scalding hot water on victim.

Israel Police logo (photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel Police logo
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Israel Police Internal Investigations Department on Sunday filed an indictment with the Beersheba District Court against four policemen, including a senior intelligence officer in the Beersheba office, for alleged abuse of a detainee three years ago.
The senior officer, Superintendent Oren Sabag, 40, and a resident of Kibbutz Bror Hayil, was named in the indictment for the first time for pouring scalding water on the still unnamed victim four times.
The other three officers were named on Wednesday as Tzion Hayun, Yossi Bar, and Avi Izri.
The indictment states that the victim was brought to the Beersheba police station on August 22, 2011 under suspicion of stealing jewelry. The victim would not admit to the crime, maintaining he had found the jewelry.
The indictment alleges that Bar and Izri then beat the victim, along with other unidentified policemen, seemingly with the goal of getting him to confess.
Hayun is accused of taking a rolled-up newspaper and waving it at the suspect in a threatening manner, with the aim of getting a confession and turning him into an informant, according to the indictment.
The indictment states that Sabag poured scalding water on the victim’s legs four times to try to persuade him to confess, with the victim screaming louder each time.
Each time Sabag poured the scalding water, the indictment states, the victim said he would confess to anything they wanted if they stopped hurting him. Yet each time they stopped pouring the water, the victim refused to confess.
After the fourth dose of scalding water, the indictment states the victim lost control and his lips started to tremble, and Sabag ordered Bar and Izri to take him to a hospital to have his scalding burns treated.
The victim was treated at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba and then returned to the police station.
At this point, according to the indictment, Sabag ordered a statement to be taken from the victim regarding his burns, but the victim, out of fear of the defendants, lied and said his burns occurred before he arrived at the station. The abuse resulted in second degree burns on multiple parts of the victim’s body, the statement said.
The incident only came to light recently, leading to a secret investigation that revealed evidence confirming the victim’s claims of abuse, it continued.
A prior Police Internal Investigations Department statement called the officers’ conduct “severe” and “disgraceful.”