Defense continues to shift blame to brother in Maoz trial

Prosecutor: Despite twins’ shared DNA, defendant’s wrongful accusation is attempt to "put a noose around his brother’s neck" for parents’ murder.

Daniel Maoz at J'lem District Court 150 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Daniel Maoz at J'lem District Court 150
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The trial for the double murder of Nurit and Noah Moaz continued on Monday in the Jerusalem District Court, as the prosecution slammed an attempt by Daniel Maoz, the couple’s son, to accuse his twin brother Nir of killing their parents.
Police and prosecutors pointed to Daniel’s gambling addiction as the motive for the August 14 murder of his parents.
DNA placed Daniel at the scene of the murders, and his associates told police that he came to play poker late that night in a disheveled state with a wound on his hand and spots of blood on his clothes.
Last Thursday, on the first day of the trial, Daniel’s lawyer, David Barhoom, accused Nir of carrying out the murder.
“It’s a lie,” Nir said in response. “What you accused me of and the way you did it is unforgivable.”
Barhoom said that Nir blackmailed Daniel by threatening to expose his pedophilic tendencies if Daniel told authorities his brother was the true murderer.
“We expected that Nir’s name would come up from the defense because of the fact that the two have the same DNA,” said state attorney Yuval Kaplinsky on Monday as the trial opened for the second day.
“But we never imagined there would be version that would point the finger at Nir... This was a sad line for the defense. It is sad for the entire family.”
“Daniel forgot there’s a thick file against him. Suddenly he discovers that he shares the same DNA with this man and starts a competition for ‘A Murderer is Born,’” he continued, satirizing the name of the popular reality show “A Star is Born.”
“He made himself a judge in this competition and awarded his brother the dubious prize,” Kaplinsky said. “He’s trying to put a noose around his brother’s neck.”
On the second day of testimony, Dudu Maaza, Daniel’s associate in gambling and poker, testified about the night of August 14, when Maoz returned to a poker game with blood on his clothes.
“Danny always dressed nicely, but this time he was sweating and had drops of blood on him,” said Maaza. “I’ve never seen Danny sweat, and I’ve never seen anybody sweating like that.”
Maaza said he was suspicious of Daniel as soon as he heard the next day on the news that his parents had been murdered.
He even confronted Daniel at the shiva house during the traditional seven-day mourning period and accused him of the murder.
Maaza said that Daniel was a terrible poker player who lost NIS 6,000-12,000 per night, and estimated that over the year-and-a-half that they knew each other, Maoz had lost from NIS 300,000-500,000. But Maaza added that despite the heavy losses, Maoz had no outstanding debts and always paid “like a gentleman.”
“All of those claims about heavy debts, they’re simply not true, that balloon exploded,” said Barhoom outside the courtroom after the trial concluded for the day.
“The way that he came [to the poker game in a disheveled state] doesn’t mean that he’s the murderer,” he continued.
“It could mean that he went through a trauma, for example, seeing Nir murder his parents.”
Daniel initially told police he was not in the area on the night of the murders, until evidence placed him at his parent’s house in Ramot. He then changed his story to say that he had been there and tried to fight with the murderers, but couldn’t stop them from killing his parents. He claimed not to have gone to the police because he was worried they would suspect him of killing his parents.
Maoz was indicted in September for the two murders and for disturbing evidence by cleaning up the crime scene.