Jerusalem (May. 24)
A morning full of dramatic situations and statements featured today’s session of the trial of the two Revisionist Zionists for the murder of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, with Aba Achimeier, recently acquitted of complicity in the murder, as the central figure.
Achimeier, who was called as a witness today by defense counsel Horace Samuel, was brought to Jerusalem from the Acre jail in which he is confined pending trial as a leader of the alleged terrorist organization, Brith Habiryonim.
The Revisionist leader, handcuffed, and looking pale and weak from his four-day fast, was granted permission by the court to give his testimony while sitting down. He refused, however, declaring indignantly, “I will not sit in the same seat where the greatest woman liar ever known sat.” This was considered an indirect reference to Mrs. Sima Arlosoroff, widow of the murdered man who also testified from a seat, instead of standing in the witness box, the customary British court practice.
Despite his bravado Achimeier later accepted a seat and gave his testimony sitting down.
COUNTRY IN PERIL
Cross-examined by Attorney General Harry H. Trusted on his views concerning political violence, Achimeier rose from his seat, crossed his arms on his chest and exclaimed loudly: “I should like to know what would you as a good English patriot think if your country was in danger.”
Questioned on his testimony before Police Inspector Goffer, Achimeier again rose to his feet excitedly and swore on the Bible and by every thing dear to him that he had told Goffer that he saw Stavsky in Jerusalem at seven o’clock on the evening of the murder, concluding with the words, “if Goffer had a shred of conscience, let him deny it.”
In reply to a question asked him by presiding judge Owen Corrie, the Revisionist leader stated that he had followed Jabotinsky’s ideas on the Jewish religion and the necessity for sacrificing the Jewish youth during the World War, but declared heatedly that he was altogether against individual terror.
KNEW STAVSKY SLIGHTLY
“Why did you share a room with Stavsky?” Attorney General Trusted asked. “Because there was a shortage of rooms in Tel Aviv,” Achimeier answered. He also stated that he only knew Stavsky slightly, met him at a Revisionist club and accepted Stavsky’s offer to share his room.
He declared that during this period three factors bound the two men together, the small room rent, party interests and the effort to increase Jewish immigration to Palestine, no matter by what method.