OSLO (Jan. 8)
State attorneys presented today a detailed account of a massive manhunt with walkie-talkies and a fleet of rented cars carried out by six alleged Israeli agents on trial here in connection with the so-called Boushicki murder case. Flanked by police on all sides, the defend-ants listened intently as the prosecution outlined events leading up to the July 21 slaying of Ahmed Boushicki.
The prosecution based its account primarily on statements given police interrogators by two of the defendants, Dan Aerbel and Marianne Gladnikoff. Boushicki was murdered by a 15-man liquidation squad “acting on orders from the Israeli intelligence organization, Mossad.” Aerbel told police according to State Prosecutor Haakon Wiker. The group converged on the quiet resort town of Lillehammer several days before the slaying, having tailed an Arab acquaintance of the murder victim from Oslo. According to Aerbel’s statement, the defendants believed both Boushicki and Karim Benemane, were Black September members.
Certain portions of today’s session were held behind closed doors. In calling for the temporary expulsion of newsmen and observers. Wiker cited “consideration for Norway’s relations with foreign states.” Aerbel has worked for Mossad several times, on occasion together with another of the defendants, Sylvia Rafael, Wiker said. In formed sources here said details of these intelligence operations were presented during closed-door proceedings.
In the weeks preceding the Boushicki murder. Michael Dorff, a defendant, was given part-time employment at the Israeli Embassy in Oslo, Wiker claimed. Members of the liquidation group maintained close contact with the Israeli security attache in Norway, Yigal Eyal. Several meetings were held in Eyal’s apartment, Wiker said. Dorff and Zwi Steinberg, another defendant, were apprehended in the apartment two days after the slaying.
Toward the end of the day. Miss Gladnikoff. daughter of a Swedish physician, was called to the stand. Her testimony confirmed many of the prosecution’s claims. She admitted having “gathered information” about Benemane and Boushicki, but claimed to be a minor member of the group. “I didn’t know what the real aim of the operation was,” she said. The Boushicki case is being tried by a special tribunal consisting, of three judges and four laymen. The six defendants all face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if found guilty.