Jerusalem (Oct. 22)
After a three-day adjournment, the trial of Sheik Taleb Markah was resumed yesterday afternoon, Government Advocate Sherwell acting as prosecuting attorney, succeeding the two Moslem prosecutors. Advocate Sherwell sharply cross-examined the defense witnesses.
The Court will recall Assistant Police Superintendent Cafferatta of Hebron, concerning a report of alleged riots in Hebron which were not mentioned by him in his first testimony.
The District Officer of Hebron, a Christian Arab, on the witness stand was forced to admit that the first statement he took from the survivors was hurried. Therefore the testimony of Leib Schneerson, one of the principal witnesses for the prosecution, which contradicted the original testimony of the District Officer, was unimpaired.
A Moslem attorney who saved a number of Jews, testified that on the Friday preceding the massacre, the small mosques were not used for prayer but that they were visited by a number of individuals, thus supporting the testimony of a Jewish witness that she saw Arabs emerging from the mosque opposite her house. The witness was asked by the counsel for the defense whether the police could have helped the situation. Interpolating, Judge Defreites, who was sitting in the case; declared, “The witness himself having saved Jews, it is therefore evident it was not impossible.” The testimony of Assistant Police Superintendent Cafferatta that he ordered the crowd of Arabs which was being harangued by Taleb, to disperse, was contradicted by an Arab police sergeant.
The prosecution having pressed the perspiring, trembling sergeant as to why he did not record or later report the alleged visit of Taleb to the police station-which is an important point of the defense-finally, through keen questioning, forced the witness to assert that he had neglected to make such a record, leaving the Court to infer that Taleb never visited the police station.
The Russian compound was cleared when the trial was resumed, but a large crowd of Jews waited all afternoon at some distance from the house where the trial is being held, under the mistaken belief that the verdict was to be pronounced today.