Daniel and Nir Maoz
Daniel and Nir Maoz. Photo by Michal Fattal and Olivier Fitoussi
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Daniel Maoz, a lawyer accused of murdering his parents to use his share of their estate to pay off gambling debts, underwent a grilling at the hands of the Jerusalem District Court judges presiding over his trial.

Maoz, arrested eight months ago, claimed two months ago that his twin brother, Nir, was the real murderer. Though Maoz tried to present a plausible line of reasoning to back his claim, it did not seem any of the judges were convinced by his answers to their pointed questions, which often amounted to no more than "I have no explanation."

Denying the motive ascribed to him in the charge sheet, Maoz, 28, said his debts were not high, that he owed money only to banks and that he earned a good salary. He said his brother Nir, on the other hand, had a tendency to violence and was constantly arguing with their parents.

"There were a lot of fights and slammed doors, particularly with my father," Daniel said of Nir.

He said the tension reached a peak on the day of the murder. Daniel said his brother told him by phone that day, "I could kill him," referring to their father.

The three judges, however, couldn't understand why if Nir was the dangerous one, it was Daniel who had done computer searches on murdering parents, the Fogel murders in Itamar, gaining an inheritance and tampering with evidence. They said the defendant's attempt to incriminate his brother did not explain why he tried to erase his computer's search history. Maoz offered no explanation.

Asked by the judges why he only started to lay the blame on Nir two months ago, Maoz said it was because he, Daniel, had a tendency toward pedophilia, something only his brother knew, and he feared that if he turned in his brother his secret would be revealed.

Judge Zvi Segal, head of the panel, was incredulous that anyone would prefer to be tried for murder than reveal such a secret, which, Segal pointed out, Maoz had just revealed himself.

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