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Stavsky Begins His Appeal to Set Aside Death Verdict

July 17, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Basing his argument on the fact that the conviction against Abraham Stavsky for the murder of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff contained no findings of fact, that Judge Moshe Valero exonerated Stavsky completely, and that the judgment of the court gave no indication who might have been Stavsky’s accomplice, Horace Samuel, London barrister and attorney for Stavsky, today began his argument before the Palestine appeals court in the hope of upsetting the verdict and obtaining freedom for his client.

Chief Justice Sir Michael Francis Joseph McDonnell presided. Sitting with the Chief Justice were Justices Francis Horace Baker and Julian Mignon de Freitas. The Judges were bewigged and wore the voluminous red robes customarily worn by British judges.

The rumor circulated yesterday that Abdul Mejid, following his latest confession, had been committed to an insane asylum by the police, was vigorously denied today. It was stated that the rumor was probably occasioned by anticipation of the court’s possible request that the Arab convict be made to produce a medical certificate attesting to his sanity.

It was understood that the appeal court may refuse to admit Mejid’s confession as well as Dr. Eliash’s testimony on the ground that it is supplementary to the basis on which the appeal had previously been submitted. Complicating the situation still further was another unconfirmed rumor to the effect that Mejid had recanted on his latest confession.

An unusual feature widely commented on was the fact that the court was constituted without a native judge.

Stavsky entered the courtroom neatly clad in civilian attire, without handcuffs and in no way distinguished from others at the hearing. Also present in the courtroom were a number of spectators, including lawyers, leading police officials and newspapermen, all of whom were familiar with the details of the case.

Defense Counsel Samuel declared that the whole case was most complicated, pointing particularly to the confession made by Abdul Mejid, Arab convict, that he and his boon companion, Issa Darwish, murdered Dr. Arlosoroff, the withdrawal of the confession and now for the second time Mejid’s confession that Issa Darwish committed the murder and that he accompanied the murderer.


“For the time being Abdul Mejid has renewed his confession of complicity in the murder to his consel, Dr. Eliash,” Defense Counsel Samuel declared. “I therefore ask the Court to use its powers and hear the testimony of Dr. Eliash on the witness stand.”

The defense also argued that if one assailant of Dr. Arlosoroff was an Arab the whole theory that the murder was political in nature and was instigated by the Revisionist Zionist faction collapsed. Samuel referred to Mrs. Sima Arlosoroff’s repeated statements that one of the murderers was an Arab and the insertion in the Jaffa police diary that the killers were Arabs. He then cited the poor visibility at the seashore on the night of the murder and the faultiness of the identifications offered by prosecution witnesses.

Zvi Rosenblatt, youthful co-defendant of Stavsky, who was acquitted by the trial court, was present today. However, he did not come into the courtroom, but remained in the corridor.

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