Man Accused of Killing Parents Tells Haaretz: I'm My Twin Brother's Fall Guy

Nurit and Noah Maoz were murdered in their Jerusalem home in August.

In the second day of testimony in the trial of Daniel Maoz, who is charged with the brutal stabbing deaths of his parents, the girlfriend of his identical twin is on Monday expected to tell the court why the brother, Nir Maoz, could not have been at the murder scene. The defendant last week claimed it was Nir who committed the murders.

Nurit and Noah Maoz were murdered in their Jerusalem home in August. Last week Daniel Maoz claimed that his brother killed them and threatened to expose Daniel as a pedophile unless he took the fall for him.

Daniel Maoz - Michal Fattal - 12032012
Michal Fattal

In an interview with Haaretz from prison on Sunday - his first since his arrest in September - Daniel Maoz related what he said he intends to say when he takes the witness stand in a few weeks.

"Nir is fooling everyone," Maoz said. "He sees my life, my forfeited freedom, and right from the start of the investigation he could have told the truth and brought about my release... I call on him with all my soul to tell the truth. Just saying he was in [our parents'] home would suffice."

Maoz claims he ran into Nir at their parents' apartment, in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot, right after Nir killed them. According to Maoz they struggled, and Nir told him that if he said anything about Nir's involvement he would make Daniel's pedophilic tendencies public.

After this argument was raised in court last week Tamar Palmon-Maoz, Daniel's and Nir's sister, admonished him, saying, "You have no shame" and Nir called out, "It's a lie."

Nir later addressed Maoz's attorney, David Barhoom of the Public Defender's Office, saying, "What you accused me of was unforgivable." His brother now says Nir's response supports his own claims. "It's evidence of his violent personality," Maoz said on Sunday from Nitzan Prison. "Watch how during his entire testimony he never made eye contact with the judges."

Furthermore, Maoz argued, Nir's request for immunity for his testimony proves he was involved in the murders. "A gag order was only issued concerning him," Maoz said. "He's mocking the prosecution because he knows he could be a murder suspect."

Police and prosecution figures dismissed Maoz's new defense tack. Officials said Nir was cleared of all suspicion after several interviews and that his brother has chosen to ignore this.

Maoz said that only now, after realizing the gravity of his situation, did he feel he had no choice but to expose everything and tell "the truth."

"I'd be willing to serve two life sentences to avoid being labeled as a pedophile," Maoz said on Sunday. "I still don't know which is better. I'm in a lose-lose situation."

But as reported last week for the first time, documents obtained by Haaretz show that Maoz's "new" line of defense dates from soon after his arrest. These documents include defense requests for witness interview records relating to Nir, specifically as they related to Nir having served in the same police surveillance unit that followed the defendant for about two weeks prior to his arrest.

Members of the Maoz family all say they suspected Daniel Maoz from the beginning, because of their past experience with his gambling addiction. Maoz was allegedly hundreds of thousands of shekels in debt at the time of the murders and allegedly killed his parents in order to get his share of their inheritance and use it to repay his loans.

"When my family testifies that way I understand that the price is too high," Maoz said on Sunday to underline what he said was his recent decision. In court last week he tried several times to give his version of events but was silenced by the judges.

In addition to Zila, Nir's girlfriend, Zahava Bruchian, the neighbor who found the Maozes' bodies together with Nir after the murder, is expected to testify on Monday.