Convicts may be acquitted in '82 murder

Supreme Court appeal cites false confessions, police lies and evidence not shown to defense.

carmon murder 248  (photo credit: channel 2)
carmon murder 248
(photo credit: channel 2)
More than 27 years after the rape and murder of female IDF soldier Daphna Carmon, new evidence was presented on Sunday which may lead to the acquittal of the two men convicted of the crime and who have been sitting in jail for some 25 years. In a press conference, the Public Defender's Office claimed that the convictions of brothers Kamal and Muhammad Sabihi were based of false confessions, undisclosed evidence and police lies. An appeal to the Supreme Court read: "The representatives of the Public Defender's Office have found, among other things, upon examining the case material in the Haifa District Attorney's Office, a folder with the words 'Intelligence File' containing more than 100 documents that were not shown to the defense. This folder was intentionally hidden from the defense during the trial and it includes core material about the case." The Public Defender's Office also claimed that the hidden file contains a large amount of information about flaws in the testimony of an informant named Ali Ibrahim. Ibrahim told each of the accused what the other had told interrogators. "The actions of Ibrahim raise serious doubts because he acted in order to influence their confessions and exerted illegal pressure on Muhammad Sabihi to confess, telling him that his father had been arrested and that a confession would lead to his release," the petition continued. Documents about the arrest of the Sabihi brothers' father in order to put pressure on Muhammad were found in the folder, said the Public Defender's Office. The father was not a suspect and was not even interrogated. In addition, the Public Defender's Office claimed that the hidden material contained information about the involvement of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in the investigation, even though the agency has denied involvement. The case began on June 11, 1982 when Carmon, 19, failed to return to her Haifa home after a day out with a friend. Her body was found three weeks later by a shepherd near the Osfaya junction. Nearly three years after the murder, Ahmed Kuzli - later also convicted of the murder of teen Danny Katz - offered to give police information about the Carmon case and turn state witness. The information led to the arrests of three suspects - the Sabihi brothers and their cousin Atef Sabihi - and in 1987 the brothers were convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering Carmon and each given two life sentences. The Supreme Court rejected the appeal of the brothers and the two other convicts in the case, Atef Sabihi and Kuzli, who had all claimed that their confessions were invalid.