Jerusalem (Jul. 20)
Abraham Stavsky, convicted of the murder of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff by the Criminal Court of Assizes, was acquitted today by the Palestine Court of Appeals, which set aside the verdict of the lower court and ordered the immediate discharge of Stavsky from custody. After more than a year of imprisonment Stavsky stepped out of the courtroom a free man.
There was a hush in the courtroom as the red-robed, be wigged judges entered and solemnly took their place. Amids# a strained, anxious silence Chief Justice Sir Michael Francis Joseph McDonnell began to read the verdict which freed Stavsky of the onus of having killed Dr. Arlosoroff.
“I cannot agree that the failure of the lower court to set out detailed findings vitiated their judgment, although it is unfortunate that no details were given,” the Chief Justice declared.
“I cannot agree that Mrs. Arlosoroff’s identification of Stavsky was vitiated by Captain Stafford’s support, though this was also unfortunate.
“With all respect to the dissenting judgment in the Assize Court (a reference to Judge Moshe Valero, who wanted to acquit Stavsky) I take the view that a sexual motive for the crime is pure hypothesis.
“In England Mrs. Arlosoroff’s evidence alone would have been sufficient, but here corroborative evidence is necessary, which was not forthcoming. The evidence given by the trackers was unsatisfactory, while the evidence of the scratch on Stavsky’s hand falls with that of the trackers. The evidence given by Weiser is inconsistent and unsatisfactory as corroboration.
“I cannot agree that a fleeting glimpse of Stavsky after three weeks is enough to corroborate the testimony of Mrs. Arlosoroff. Therefore as no corroborative evidence is available, the conviction is capable of being set aside.
“The appeal is therefore allowed and the accused is discharged.”
Justices Baker and de Freitas concurred in the decision delivered by the Chief Justice.
With the announcement of the verdict pandemonium broke loose in the crowded courtroom. Stavsky’s family and many others wept with joy, while Stavsky himself