OSLO (Jan. 15)
A defendant in the Boushicki murder trial, now in its second week, yesterday retracted earlier statements to police interrogators. Danish-born Jew, Dan Aerbel, 33, told a crowded courtroom here that his earlier statements were “incorrect, illogical and stupid.” Aerbel claimed under police questioning shortly after his arrest last summer that the official Israeli intelligence organization Mossad was behind the July slaying of Moroccan waiter Ahmed Boushicki at Lillehammer in eastern Norway. “I only said this because I thought I would get help from Israeli diplomats,” Aerbel told the court.
Norwegian police sergeant Steinar Ravlo was called as a witness to confirm Aerbel’s statements under questioning. “Aerbel asked me several times to call a number at the Israeli Defense Ministry and ask for ‘Mikko,’” Ravlo testified. “He told me the whole affair could be settled quietly through diplomatic channels,” Ravlo said. Aerbel admitted spying on suspected Arab terrorists in Norway, and.told the court he thought an “illegal organization” was responsible for Boushicki’s death.
Six persons are on trial for the Boushicki murder, which according to the prosecution was carried out by an official Israeli counter-terror group. All six are charged with espionage and conspiracy to commit murder. They face maximum sentences of life imprisonment if convicted. The six Boushicki defendants are also wanted for questioning by police in Rome and Paris in connection with other terror slaying.
A Rome Magistrate’s Court has released the names of 14 persons, including the six defendants in the Boushicki case, who are wanted in connection with the murder of Palestinian leader Wall Abdel Zuaiter in Rome in Oct. 1972. One of those wanted is Edouard Laskier, alias “Mike,” who other defendants testified in court here last week, was the person on whose orders they acted. The prosecution dubbed Laskier as the leader of the 15-man team sent to Norway. Laskier and the others believed involved in the Rome affair are still at large.