Farkhan, convicted of murder
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Dana Bennett
Photo reproduction: Hagai Aharon

Dana Bennett's murderer gets 3 life sentences

Nazareth District Court convicts Yihya Farkhan of murder of Tiberias teen, Czech tourist, fellow prisoner. Farkhan sentenced to three life terms plus 12 years in prison for rape, kidnapping

Almost seven years after the mysterious murder that left the country aghast, the Nazareth District Court on Wednesday convicted Yihya (Adwan) Farkhan of the murder of Dana Bennett and two other counts of murder and sentenced him to three consecutive life terms and an additional 12 years imprisonment. 


The court ruled that besides the Tiberias teen, 34-year-old Farkhan also murdered Czech tourist Sylvia Molrova, and Aharon Simahov, a prisoner who he shared a cell with.


He was also convicted of two counts of kidnapping with the intent to commit murder, rape, and the abduction of a call-girl in 2005.


The panel of judges headed by Tawfiq Katili rejected Farkhan's arguments that his confession was illegally extracted by force, and noted that the defendant was manipulative, calm and capable of conducting himself, and appeared to be in a normal physical and mental state all throughout the trial. Therefore, the court ruled that his confessions to the police was admissible.


The judges added that the testimonies of the murder provided by Farkhan's girlfriend were credible and detailed, and that they reinforced the confessions the defendant gave.


'Farkhan will never again see light of day'

Farkhan's sentencing hearing was held later Wednesday, and he was given three consecutive life terms, and an additional 12 years in prison. The court noted that Farkhan "will never again see the light of day outside his imprisonment".


Dana Bennett's relatives burst into tears after the sentence was read. Farkhan left the courtroom with a smile. 


The court accepted the prosecution's demands at the sentencing hearing, that the life sentences be served consecutively, and that a separate punishment be added for the rape and kidnapping of a call-girl.


A request by Farkhan's representatives to deem him not criminally responsible due to his mental state was rejected, as was the defense's request to have the life sentences overlap.


The judges described how the mothers of the late Sylvia and Dana sat in the courtroom throughout the trial: "They were forced to observe and listen to gruesome descriptions of the abuse their precious daughters went through, abuse that one can hardly believe a human being is capable of inflicting. Sitting before us is a defendant who is a brutal monster."


The court noted that the sentence was meant to remove Farkhan from society until his dying day. "The defendant should receive three consecutive life sentences, to ensure that he never again sees the light of day, except through his jail cell's window, and to ensure that he never walks free again. This should make him, and others understand that human life cannot be violated, and that the perpetrator of such vile murderous acts will not be exonerated."


Bennett's mother: No solace, but some relief

After the verdict was read Wednesday morning, Bennett's mother Vicky said, "The judges did not let me down. There is no solace, but there is a kind of relief. He will sit behind bars and will not find himself any more victims."


She noted that throughout the duration of the trial the defendant did not approach her once to express any remorse or ask for forgiveness. "As far as he is concerned he is not guilty. He is not taking responsibility for anything," she said.


Last year an indictment was filed against Farkhan and his partner Y., who was 16 at the time of the murder, and was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. Her confession incriminated Farkhan in the murders.


Dana Bennett disappeared on August 1, 2003 after getting out of a taxi on her way from work to her aunt's house in Tiberias. Her body was uncovered six years later as a result of the affair's investigation.


In an interview with Ynet ahead of Farkhan's verdict, Bennett's mother, Vicky said that her daughter, and others, would be alive today had the law enforcement authorities given him a stricter punishment and not allowed him to leave prison.


"He had the history of someone capable of murder. He should have been in prison before he got to my daughter. There is no place for people like this in society. This is why they invented jails, to keep them behind bars all their lives," she said.


"If a death sentence existed, it would be the only sentence he deserves."



פרסום ראשון: 07.21.10, 09:26
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