Prosecution grills Daniel Maoz in murder trial

Judge grows increasingly frustrated with evasive answers of man accused of murdering his parents.

Daniel Maoz takes witness stand 370 (photo credit: MELANIE LIDMAN)
Daniel Maoz takes witness stand 370
(photo credit: MELANIE LIDMAN)
Daniel Maoz gave increasingly erratic answers as his trial for the murder of his parents, Nurit and Noah, continued on Wednesday in the Jerusalem District Court.
Police arrested Maoz in September 2011, a month after his parents were discovered stabbed to death in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot.
Police claimed that he had a gambling addiction and had killed his parents in order to receive the inheritance.
Maoz admitted that he has a gambling addiction but maintains that his identical brother, Nir, carried out the murder of their parents while he was in the house but paralyzed by fear. The twins share identical DNA that was discovered at the crime site.
Toward the end of the second day of Maoz’s testimony, the judges lost patience with his evasive answers. He worked as a lawyer before he was arrested in September, and his ability to skirt the questions with involved explanations posed by the defense began to annoy the judges, especially Chief Judge Zvi Segal.
“Answer! That is not an answer!” Segal ordered Maoz at one point.
Maoz responded to questions quietly and calmly, fidgeting with the microphone frequently. The cuffs around his ankles clinked every time he moved.
Segal admonished Maoz for his inability to explain why he did not tell police that his brother had murdered his parents until long after his own arrest.
The chief judge said he was searching for the logic in Maoz’s answers.
“Nir, in my eyes, was going to hurt more people only when I reported him to the police,” Maoz responded. “Nir has already murdered his parents. How do you explain that he would only murder more people if you reported it?” Segal asked.
“Someone who has murdered before will probably murder again. There’s no logic in what you’re saying,” Segal said.
When Maoz continued to protest he was terrified that Nir would reveal that Daniel had pedophile tendencies, Segal nearly shouted back at him: “If we’re talking about this fear, Mr. Maoz, there’s a scale of logic. A murderer who’s walking free or a murderer who’s in jail. Do you understand?”
Maoz testified Wednesday that when he came out of the bathroom and saw Nir had murdered their parents, Nir threw him to the ground and said, “If you tell anyone, you’re next in line.” He re-testified about fleeing the house without calling an ambulance, going to his apartment in Tel Aviv, visiting friends in Bat Yam and then returning to clean the house in the middle of the night.
He cleaned with copious amounts of bleach despite the fact that he was terrified Nir would kill him as well, Maoz said, because it seemed like the right thing to do based on television shows he had seen. He also used a knife to clean under his parents’ fingernails in order to remove traces of his DNA.
Maoz testified that the morning after when the police arrived at the apartment, his twin brother hugged him and whispered in reference to the cleaning, “You did good work.”
“I almost collapsed,” Maoz said. “This man that I was so scared of was embracing me.”
Prosecution head Yuval Kaplinsky grilled him on the evolving versions of the events that he gave to police immediately following the murders – when Daniel initially claimed he was in Tel Aviv, then admitted visiting his parents and finally admitted to being in the house during the murder.
Kaplinsky also caught Maoz perjuring himself during his testimony about his boss agreeing to act as a guarantor for a loan of more than NIS 100,000. Previously, Maoz had denied that he lied to his boss about the reasons for needing the loan, but admitted on Wednesday that he had lied about a business failure in Chicago.
As the trial concluded after nine hours, Maoz claimed he was a victim in the same way as his siblings Tamar and Guy, causing his family to walk out in disgust.
He promised that if Nir was imprisoned, he would ensure that Nir always had enough money for the jail canteen.
“On top of our suffering and difficulties of losing our parents, this testimony was embarrassing and pathetic, and that is an understatement,” Tamar Maoz said outside the courtroom. “The story is over for all intents and purposes and I want to begin the mourning process – that hasn’t been possible until now mostly because of the murderer.”
Tamar added that the family would not stay in contact with Daniel, and they did not hope to get a clear answer from him as to the reason for allegedly murdering their parents. “I don’t think he ever means to give us an answer,” she said. “It was very clear from his testimony that the only thing that interests Daniel Maoz – is Daniel Maoz.”