Waiter Accused of Oshrenko Slaying Retracts Confession

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The main suspect in the multiple murders of the Oshrenko family, Damian Karlik, retracted his confession yesterday and claimed police investigators had forced him to confess.

Karlik's attorney, Uri Keinan, demanded his client's confession be struck from the record, after he learned Karlik had allegedly been held in custody for four consecutive days with his hands and legs bound.

"I know of no other instances in which the suspect was bound to his bed by all four limbs during the entire questioning, and this will be brought before court in time," Keinan said.

The defense attorney said that every time he visited Karlik with another attorney from his office, Anna Shechtman, he was told by his client that only then did the police investigators agree to remove the hand and ankle cuffs that bound him to his bed.

Keinin charged the police had opted to conduct the trial through the media and not wait, as it should, for the trial in court."

The defense attorneys for Natalya Karlik, wife of the suspect, who allegedly aided her husband in committing the crimes and reportedly disrupted the investigation, said yesterday that if she is charged with murder, they intend to ask that her admission to police be struck from the record.

Avi Cohen, one of Natalya Karlik's attorneys, said they were allowed a single meeting with her immediately after her arrest and were then "prevented from meeting with her for 48 hours, and not surprisingly, after that time, it turned out that she had made a confession," Cohen said. Cohen also accused the police of trying to benefit from the media attention.

Wife claims she didn't know

During her questioning, Natalya Karlik insisted that she did not know of her husband's intent to murder the Oshrenko family.

She points to a text message she sent to his cell phone, informing him that "the man with the bag has left but he is not alone," saying she knew he intended to rob Edward Oshrenko but when she grew concerned that others might be hurt, she sought to dissuade her husband from taking action.

Police sources rejected the claims of the wife's attorneys. Her defense team has filed a petition with a Petah Tikva court against the terms of her continued remand. The court will hear the case today.

"The judge ruled there should be no distinction between her and her husband, who is suspected of killing six people. This is unacceptable and illogical," Cohen said.

There are other Karlik family members being held - his mother, under-age daughter and his wife's sister.

A senior police officer said they will be released in a matter of days and were held on suspicion of assisting Karlik after the murders and disrupting the investigation.

Meanwhile, Minister of Absorption Sofa Landver rejected talk in the media yesterday that the murder of the Oshrenko family reflected the nature of the immigration from the former Soviet Union.

Landver said it is very troubling when an an entire community is stained, a community that "during two decades has changed for the better the nature of society and the country and made a great contribution to the fact that the state of Israel has moved to being part of the developed world."

Gun license

Damian Karlik received a license for a weapon from the Interior Ministry on September 24 but never acquired one.

The license was granted under the category of "institutional," which unlike the case for "private" weapons holders, is meant for those interested in working for private security firms.