The State is accusing Mustafa Dirani's chief interrogator of abuse against several detainees in an army facility, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday. The former interrogator, accused of the rape and abuse of the senior Hezbollah
member filed a damages claim
against the State of Israel a year ago.
Dirani was kidnapped by Israel in 1994 to serve as "bargaining chip" in a bid to gather information on the whereabouts of navigator Ron Arad.
In 2000 he complained that one of his interrogators inserted a club into his body during the interrogation. Dirani, who was released as part of a prisoner exchange deal in 2004, pressed civil charges which are still ongoing.
An army investigation has disproved Dirani's claims, and the interrogator filed a damages claim against the State, saying the he was singled out as a scapegoat. He is also accusing the State of exposing or leaking his identity to the public while risking his and his family's safety.
Plaintiff in court (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
But the State's response said that during the army investigation which cleared the plaintiff other condemning evidence were revealed against him.
According to the State, though Dirani was not raped, as he claimed, he was indeed threatened: An IDF soldier testified that the plaintiff instructed him to take off his pants in front of Dirani in order to frighten him. Another soldier gave a similar testimony regarding another detainee.
According to another testimony the plaintiff made handcuffed detainee walk naked in the holding facility's yard while another officer touched the detainee's buttocks with a club.
The State further said that the interrogator was informed of the IDF's intention to terminate his service even before Dirani's complaint, due to his inability to pass a mandatory lie detector course, and his refusal to undergo a standard lie detection test himself.
Despite the severe findings against the plaintiff the chief military advocate decided not to press criminal charges due to his long and faithful service, and particularly his contribution to the Ron Arad case. But due the severity of his actions, it was decided that the plaintiff could not keep his role as a prisoner interrogator.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the plaintiff ended his army service in May 2002, with no relation to the investigation against him. No disciplinary measures were made following it. "According to the State, the plaintiff's attempt to present himself as a scapegoat to the system does not conform to reality," it was written. "The Ministry of Defense wished the damages claim to be dropped."
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