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Rice in Stand at Jerusalem Murder Trial

May 15, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Colonel Harry P. Rice, deputy inspector general of police and prison in Palestine, who was in charge of the investigation in the Arlosoroff case, today occupied the witness stand at the trial of the three Revisionist Zionists accused of the murder to testify on the identification of the suspects by Mrs. Sima Arlosoroff, didow of the murdered man.

Colonel Rice testified that on the Monday following the murder of Dr. Arlosoroff sixteen Jewish and Arab suspects were lined up in the Jaffa prison. Mrs. Arlosoroff walked up and down the line and when she approached Abraham Stavsky she seemed on the point of fainting.

The second identification parade, Colonel Rice declared, took place in the prison court yard. All sixteen suspects passed before Mrs. Arlosoroff, who stated that she recognized Stavsky by his manner of walking.

Later several of the suspects were taken into a separate room, where Mrs. Arlosoroff asked Stavsky to pronounce the words, “Kama Hashaa,” “what time is it?” When Stavsky pronounced the phrase, the deputy inspector general declared, Mrs. Arlosoroff said to him, “Did you notice how he changed his voice?”


Questioned by Attorney General Harry H. Trusted, Colonel Rice stated that on the evening after the murder he arranged a test on the seashore to convince himself whether it was possible to recognize anyone in the dark. The test, he declared, convinced him that it was possible, within a few feet not only to recognize a jacket, but even to detect colors.

He told of the meeting in his office between Mrs. Arlosoroff and Zvi Rosenblatt on July 29. Rosenblatt, he said, was unshaven, but the widow after observing him for a few minutes declared that she was satisfied that he was one the murderers. Then Mrs. Arlosoroff asked permission to talk to Rosenblatt and there occurred the highly dramatic scene in which she pleaded with the young Revisionist to confess that he killed her husband promising to intercede for him.

On January 9, according to the Colonel’s testimony, the Arab convict Sufchi reported to him that Mejid had admitted the murder of Dr. Arlosoroff. Sufchi and Mejid were brought to the office next day, but Mejid at first declared that he had nothing to say, later, however; making the confession which he subsequently withdrew.

Later Mrs. Arlosoroff was brought into a room filled with a number of persons, including Mejid and his companion Issa. She failed, however, to recognize any of the suspects in the room. The same thing happened when the whole group was paraded before her.

When Mejid was brought into a room alone and confronted with Mrs. Arlosoroff, he told her the alleged details of the murder of her husband. After Mejid was sent away, she declared definitely that he was not the murderer.

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