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El Al Security Guard’s Trial in Athens Criticized by Defense Counsel

Defense counsel for the El Al security guard, Mordechai Rachamim, charged Monday that the Zurich police and judiciary have not acted impartially so far in the trial of his client who is charged with killing one of four Arab terrorists during an attack on a Israeli airliner at Zurich Airport last Feb. 18.

Mr. Rachamim is on trial for manslaughter and faces a five-year prison term. The case hinges on whether or not the terrorist was armed at the moment he was shot by the accused. Several Zurich police officers have testified in court that he was not. Defense lawyer Hans Meiser contends that their testimony contradicted statements they made during the pre-trial investigation. He called a press conference here to accuse the presiding judge, Dr. Hans Gut, of refusing to allow him to call a key witness who would have testified that the chief prosecution witness Have lied.

According to Mr. Meiser, his witness, Max Meyer, was prepared to swear that the prosecution’s witness, Hans Durr, had told him on the day of the attack that the terrorist was brandishing a weapon when Rachamim shot him. Mr. Meiser said that if Dr. Gut allowed him to call his witness, he was prepared to file a complaint of perjury against Durr and against another Cantonal police officer, Hans Strub.

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