Jaffa, Palestine (Nov. 8)
Aba Achimeir, one of the three men held in connection with the murder last June of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, noted Zionist labor leader, today was cleared of charges of conspiracy to murder, as the magistrate’s investigation of the crime continued here. Achimeir, however, is still held in connection with the murder on two other counts.
The conspiracy charge was ruled out after a spirited plea by defense counsel on the gorunds that the criminal code in force in Palestine holds that a conspirator must necessarily be present when the crime takes place. No evidence was presented during the course of the magistrate’s investigation to show that Achimeir was present when the murder took place, the prosecution stressing only that the defendant had instigated and planned the assassination which was carried out by others.
Following completion of the prosecution’s presentation of evidence against Achimeir, Abraham Stavsky and Zvi Rosenblatt, all of whom are identified with extremist groups of the Revisionists, the right-wing Zionists, the defense attorneys yesterday began a heavy attack on the testimony offered. Evidence offered by Mrs. Sima Arlosoroff, the Zionist leader’s widow, who was a witness to her husband’s murder, revolving around identification of Stavsky and Rosenblatt as the alleged murderers, came in for sharp criticism.
Identification of Stavsky as one of the assailants through identification of his foot-prints by an Arab tracker employed by the police was criticized by the defense attorneys, who charged that the witness and another tracker had been present at police headquarters and had seen Stavsky before picking him out of an identification parade. On this ground, the defense asserted, the tracker’s testimony was inadmissible.
Identification of Stavsky’s coat as the one worn by one of the alleged murderers by Mrs. Arlosoroff was legally not corroborative, according to the defense.
In arguing for dismissal of charges against Achimeir, the defense declared that not only was there no evidence of incitement to murder by this defendant but that Achimeir, in his beliefs, was strongly opposed to individual acts of violence and terrorism.
The hearing was adjourned until November 15, 16 and 22, when the defense will be given further opportunity of being heard.