[Ppnews] Torture of Salah denied - Israeli agent insists defendant not abused
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Nov 2 08:47:52 EST 2006
Torture of Salah denied
Israeli agent insists defendant not abused
By Rudolph Bush
Tribune staff reporter
November 2, 2006
Under a sharp cross-examination, an Israeli
interrogator Wednesday defended the way Muhammad
Salah was treated while in the custody of Israel
and emphatically denied he had been tortured.
Salah, of Bridgeview, is accused in federal court
of being a top member of the Palestinian
extremist group Hamas. The evidence in the case
largely revolves around statements he made to
Israeli authorities when he was arrested in 1993 and interrogated in Israel.
Robert Bloom, one of Salah's attorneys,
questioned the interrogator, known only by the
alias Nadav, about tactics used to get Salah to answer questions.
"He was manhandled very severely when he was arrested?" Bloom asked.
Speaking through a Hebrew interpreter, Nadav said Salah was not treated badly.
Bloom asked if Israeli soldiers kicked Salah in
the back and genitals as they drove him from the
site of his arrest in Gaza to an interrogation facility in the West Bank.
Nadav said Salah had not been abused and that a
doctor or medic examined him after his arrest.
Bloom asked whether Salah was forced to wear a
hood that stunk of vomit and urine and if he had
been deprived of sleep between interrogation
sessions. Nadav said that never happened.
"You're known as Captain Nadav. Have you ever
been made aware by Mr. Salah and others that you
are known in Palestinian prisons as `Captain Liar'?" Bloom asked.
"I never hear such a saying. That is so far from the truth," Nadav said.
Throughout Nadav's testimony, Bloom read into the
record stipulations by the government about
Israeli interrogation and detention practices
that were legal at the time of Salah's arrest.
Those tactics included placing hoods over
prisoners' heads, depriving them of sleep and, in
the case of an imminent threat to life by terrorists, slapping them.
During Nadav's testimony, U.S. District Judge Amy
St. Eve has closed her courtroom to the public.
Spectators and reporters can view the courtroom
and listen to testimony via a closed circuit feed to another courtroom.
The camera focuses on attorneys in the case, however, and Nadav is not shown.
Defense attorneys have accused Nadav of acting as
the "good cop" during Salah's 1993 interrogation, a theory Nadav dismissed.
Bloom asked whether the interrogator was
surprised to learn that Salah, who admitted under
questioning to being Hamas' military commander,
received only a 5-year sentence from an Israeli court.
Nadav said he didn't know why Salah got a light
sentence. He speculated it might have been
because Salah cooperated under interrogation and
provided key information about high-level Hamas members and activities.
"I think that if he would have spent many years
in prison it would have helped a lot the security
of Israel," Nadav said. Nadav's cross-examination
is scheduled to continue Thursday.
rrbush at tribune.com
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