Text size

An indictment was issued yesterday for the 2003 murders of American-Israeli teen Dana Bennett and Czech tourist Sylvia Molorova, and the 2004 murder of prisoner Aharon Simahov.

The suspect, Adwan Farhan, was charged in Nazareth District Court on three counts of murder, kidnapping with intent to commit murder, rape and an additional kidnapping. Farhan's girlfriend, a woman identified as Y., was also charged with Bennett's murder as well as attempted murder of Molorova.

The first murder to which Farhan admitted, that of Molorova, allegedly took place a month before Bennett was murdered in Tiberias in 2003. According to the indictment, Farhan killed Molorova on July 6, 2003.

The indictment states that at 3 A.M. on that date, Farhan was driving when he noticed Molorova coming out of a pub near Lake Kinneret, trying to hitch a ride to Bnei Yehuda in the Golan where she was staying. Molorova got into Farhan's car and he took her to the house of his partner, Y., telling Y. to come down to the car wearing dark clothing. The three then traveled toward the Tzalmon Stream in the Galilee. When they got there, Farhan carried Molorova over his shoulder and began walking with her toward the stream. She struggled but Farhan held her by the hair and wrapped a rope he brought with him around her throat for a few minutes. When the couple saw the victim was still moving, according to the indictment, they drowned her in the stream. The pair then placed stones on top of the body.

On August 1, the indictment continues, Farhan and Y. were driving at about 1 A.M. when they saw Bennett get out of a taxi and decided to kill her. Farhan told Y. to approach Bennett and tell her she worked for a hotel that Farhan owned and that they wanted her to work for a few hours for good pay. On the way, Farhan detoured into an olive grove near his village of Wadi Hammam north of Tiberias. Farhan got out of the car, he said, to urinate; when Y. and Bennett got out as well, he punched Bennett in the face. As she pleaded for her life, he tore her blouse and removed her bra, using it to strangle her to death, as Y. watched, according to the indictment.

The pair then drove to a nearby gas station, bought a container of gas, returned to the scene and set fire to Bennett's body.

Bennett's mother, Vicky Bennett, who was in the courtroom for the reading of the charges, said she would somehow find the strength to attend all the hearings.

Vicky Bennett was also present when the charges against Y. were read. She approached Y.'s seat and demanded that the suspect look her in the eye, but Y. did not.

Farhan is also charged with beating and choking a prisoner, Aharon Simahov, in a Tiberias jail when Simahov went to the shower. Farhan allegedly turned on the water in the shower to drown out any sounds. He hung Simahov from the bars, and then called for help, telling the guards Simahov had hanged himself. Simahov died of his injuries two months later.

Farhan is also charged with the 2005 rape of a Tiberias woman at knife-point. Additionally, Farhan allegedly confessed to murdering a man 15 years ago at the Arik Bridge north of the Kinneret. However the identity of the man and other essential information are unknown and he cannot therefore be charged.

Farhan's lawyer, Shadi Sarouji, said his client denied the charges and was beaten during questioning.

Y.'s attorney, Issam Tannous, said Y. regretted the incidents in which she had been involved.