Supreme Court rejects appeal of killer of American teen, Czech tourist

Court also decides to reverse the lower court and acquit Farhan of the murder of Aharon Simanhov, Farhan's cellmate.

adwan yihya farhan 248.88 (photo credit: Dror Artzi / JINI)
adwan yihya farhan 248.88
(photo credit: Dror Artzi / JINI)
The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday the appeal of Adwan Yihya Farhan regarding his conviction in 2010 for the 2003 murders of Dana Bennet and Sylvia Molrova.
The court also decided to reverse the Nazareth District Court and acquit Farhan of the murder of Aharon Simahov, Farhan’s cellmate, citing reasonable doubt.
Farhan killed Czech tourist Sylvia Molrova on July 5, 2003, after offering her a lift home.
First, he strangled her with a cable.
Next, he and his accomplice, Y (then only 15 years old), made sure she was dead and covered up the crime by drowning her in the Nahal Tzalmon stream.
The drowning included Y standing on her legs to push them down and placing rocks on her body to push the body down further.
A month later, on August 1, 2003, Farhan killed 18-year-old American-Israeli Dana Bennet.
Farhan, and Y, who was convicted as an accomplice to both murders, met Bennet in Tiberias.
Y persuaded Bennet to get into their car, where Farhan told her he was a hostel owner looking for staff and offered her a job.
Farhan drove Bennet to a secluded road and beat her with his bare hands. She pleaded for her life, but Farhan continued to beat her.
He then ripped her shirt, tore off her bra and choked her with it, as Y stood by and watched.
To ensure the victim was really dead, the indictment continued, Farhan stomped on her stomach.
Next, Farhan burned her body to cover up the crime.
Regarding Simahov, Farhan was convicted by the Nazareth court of murdering him in the prisoner shower, in retaliation for Simahov cooperating with the police against allies of Farhan.
Farhan was convicted of beating Simahov, strangling him and then hanging him from a lead pipe, while calling for help to try to cover up the crime.
The Supreme Court said that the inconclusive circumstances, including that originally the police did not even regard seriously or pursue Farhan as a suspect, justified reversing the lower court’s decision and acquitting Farhan.
Farhan was originally sentenced to three life sentences for the murders of Bennet, Molrova and Simahov, and an additional 12 years of imprisonment for abducting and raping a prostitute in Tiberias in 2005.
Even with the single acquittal, he is set to spend his life behind bars.