Hanit Kikos killer to appeal for retrial

Attorney: Confession of June 1993 rape and murder was made under duress.

Blood 88 (photo credit: )
Blood 88
(photo credit: )
Suleiman Abeid, the man accused of murdering Hanit Kikos 13 years ago, declared his intention on Monday to appeal for a retrial. The murderer claimed that his judges did not fully comprehend the evidence in his case. His attorney, Avigdor Feldman told Army Radio that his client's confession was taken only after police investigators beat him. "A man who admitted and re-enacted [the crime] was convicted almost automatically, even when there was no connection between the confession and reality," Feldman protested, "What more is needed to say that he confessed to something that he did not do?" Hanit's father said that he supported reinvestigating the case so that the facts could be determined once-and-for-all. "During the entire trial there was no definitive evidence at any point where I could say I knew the whole truth. Therefore it is worth our while to go through all the circles of Hell to know the truth." The murder charges of which Abeid was convicted were brought when it emerged that 17-year-old Kikos went missing in June 1993, while hitchhiking from her Ofakim home to Beersheba, where she planned to attend her boyfriend's birthday party. After weeks of searching failed to reveal her whereabouts, police were given a tip-off that Abeid, who worked at the Dudaim garbage dump in Beersheba, was the murderer. He confessed to both charges, saying that the rape and murder had taken place at Dudaim. He later retracted his confession. He was convicted on both counts in November 1994. Repeated searches at Dudaim, however, failed to reveal traces of the body. Only in June 1995 were Kikos's remains uncovered - in a residential neighborhood of Beersheba. Abeid, who was serving his sentence, then decided to appeal to the Supreme Court. In September 1995, the Supreme Court ordered that Abeid be tried again, because her remains were not found in the place where Abeid had said he hid the body. In February 1996, the Beersheba District Court once again convicted Abeid for the murder and rape of Kikos.