JERUSALEM (Apr. 24)
The first important court battle of the trial of the three Revisionist Zionists, Aba Achimeier, Zvi Rosenblatt and Abraham Stavsky, accused of the murder of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, was lost this afternoon by the defense when the court ruled that the record of the testimony of two of the three defendants, taken immediately after their arrest by Prosecutor Behor Shitreet, was to stand.
Defense counsel Samuel, in a two-hour speech, pleaded with the court not to admit the record of the testimony as read by the prosecutor, on the ground that the defendants testified under the compulsion of the police. Musa el Alami, government prosecutor, argued that the court must follow the precedent established by British courts in recognizing the testimony of the police.
The entire morning session was taken up with the reading of the testimony taken by Prosecutor Shitreet. He read the entire record in which both Stavsky and Rosenblatt denied having committed the murder, in Hebrew, and gave in detail their alibi, which stated that they were in Jerusalem when Dr. Arlosoroff was murdered near Tel Aviv.
Samuel cross-examined Shitreet, who acted as chief government prosecutor during the hearing before Magistrate Bodilly, asking whether the testimony of the two men was given willingly or under police threats. Prosecutor Shitreet explained that some parts of the testimony consisted of replies to questions which the investigators asked the men in order to clarify certain points involved. When he finished reading, both Stavsky and Rosenblatt declared that they had nothing to add to the record.
Police constable Selig Ostrowski, who testified yesterday, was cross-examined today by the defense. Samuel asked him about the first suspects in the case. Ostrowski declared that an Arab was arrested immediately after the murder and that later a group of active Jewish and Arab Communists were arrested, but that the whole group was released owing to the complete lack of evidence against them.
The court which is trying the case is composed of Judge Currie, president of the court, Judge Oliver Plunkett, Judge Valero and Judge Ali Hasma.
CHARGES THIRD DEGREE METHODS
Samuel accused Prosecutor Shitreet of having used third degree methods in his examination of suspects. He specifically accused him of having caused a Miss Turgeman to cry. Shitreet indignantly repudiated the suggestion of pressure on witnesses.
The question of the footprints at the scene of the murder provoked a lively exchange between the defense counsel and Prosecutor Shitreet. Samuel pointed out that the trackers testified the footprints showed that the murderers wore shoes with iron bars and that Rosenblatt’s shoes, now in possession of the police, had no such bars. Shitreet retorted that Rosenblatt had enough time to change his shoes.