Daniel Maoz's Lawyers Attempt to Discredit Brother

Alibis of defendant's twin brother - his girlfriend and his roommate - testify in court.

The defense attorneys of a man indicted for brutally murdering his parents continued to try Monday to refute the alibi of his twin brother, whom the suspect now accuses of being the murderer.

Daniel Maoz was arrested in September as the primary suspect in the gruesome murder of his parents, Noah and Nurit Maoz. The couple were found stabbed to death in their home in Jerusalem on August 14. Police believe he killed his parents to pay off his heavy gambling debts.

Defense attorney David Barhoom
Michal Fattal

Last week, the defendant changed his testimony for the fourth time since the trial began, and claimed that his twin brother, Nir, was in fact the murderer. Nir Maoz says he was unable to commit the murder because he was in his Jerusalem apartment at the time.

According to the defense attorney David Barhoom, Nir Maoz was alone for two hours, during which time he could have gone to his parents' house, kill them, and return to his apartment. According to the police report, the murder was committed during this time slot.

The two witnesses who corroborated Nir Maoz's alibi were his girlfriend, Tzila Philipson, and his roommate, Ronen Niv. But the defense alleged that their testimonies were inconsistent. For example, Niv initially told police that he saw Nir Maoz in his room when he returned home just before midnight that night, and said about a week later that the door had been shut.

"I thought I saw him at first, but on second thought the door wasn't open," he said Monday in the witness box.

Philipson, however, said that she turned off her boyfriend's computer just before midnight, after he had gone to bed. But it later emerged that it was turned back on about an hour later. The defense claimed that Nir Maoz, a computer programmer, had tried to hack into his brother's computer so as to show that he researched murder-related material, for which police found proof.

David Mazeh, Daniel Maoz's reputed gambling fellow, also testified Monday. He said that Daniel Maoz came to his house late that night, agitated and covered in sweat and blood. "He came like a hurricane," he said. "He was sweating and had a deep cut in his finger. I know him well, and something didn't seem right."

Mazeh also said that Daniel Maoz would incur heavy losses in gambling. "He would sit at the table, and until he was kicked out he wouldn't leave," he said. "Once he lost NIS 50,000 in one night."

On Sunday, Nir Maoz asked the Jerusalem police to amend his testimony. The defense attorneys say it is an attempt to cover up his role in the murder.