Man Suspected of Murdering Parents Accuses Twin Brother

Suspect's attorney claims DNA found at crime scene could belong to twin.

A man indicted for brutally murdering his parents in Jerusalem last year changed his tack in court yesterday and accused his twin brother of committing the murder.

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 Ramot neighborhood home in Jerusalem on August 14.

Maoz - Fitoussi - 8.3.12
Olivier Fitoussi

"You murdered your parents," Maoz's attorney accused Nir Maoz, the defendant's twin brother, as he testified on the witness stand in Jerusalem District Court yesterday.

The attorney, David Barhoom, of the public defender's office, argued the DNA found at the crime scene does not necessarily mean Daniel Maoz is the murderer, since it could also belong to his twin brother.

Barhoom said the defendant had not made this accusation for the past seven months because his brother had threatened to tell everyone that Daniel had pedophilic tendencies if he did.

Haaretz has documents showing Daniel Maoz had intended to incriminate his twin brother almost as soon as he was arrested some six months ago.

In September Daniel Maoz asked the court, through his former attorney, Ariel Atari, to instruct the police to show him material regarding his brother's testimony in the investigation. Maoz said his brother had served in the same police surveillance unit that had kept tabs on him until his arrest and had contacted some of the officers he knew.

Maoz said in the request that his brother Nir's "DNA could have been at the [murder] site."

Barhoom said yesterday Daniel Maoz had hinted to the investigating officers that he was being blackmailed by his brother, but they "didn't get the hints."

Maoz's sister, Tamar Palmon-Maoz, said after the court session, "Danny deceived the family over the past years and is continuing to do so in court. We have no doubt the truth will out."

Maoz's attorney said bloody fingerprints were found in places in the house Nir Maoz said he had not been in, after finding his parents' bodies.

Barhoom said Nir Maoz had served in a classified Israel Defense Forces unit and had dealt with martial arts, indicating he was capable of committing the murder.

Barhoom said a neighbor, Moshe Rosenfeld, told the police he had seen the murderer's shadow at the entrance to the house on the night of the murder and described it as "tall as the mezuza."

Barhoom said this is more like Nir, who is some 10 centimeters shorter than the defendant.

Nir Maoz said, "It's a lie. What you accused me of and the way you did it is unforgivable."

Earlier, Nir Maoz testified about the day of the murder. "When I opened the door I smelled a strong smell of bleach. I entered and saw my mother on the floor. Immediately after that I saw my father. I screamed... I tried to touch mother's cheek, to see if it was warm. Because of the stabs I couldn't check the pulse in her neck," he said.

The murdered woman's sister, Ofra Weisman, said on the witness stand, "The only connection the family has to the crime world was Danny's gambling. We tried to think who did it and the natural choice was Danny."

"In the shiva Danny used to make long telephone calls outside the house... he also took my son and daughter's phones and made long calls," she said.

"It was clear from an early stage he was pushing to pull the house apart, sell pictures, money they had coming following the parents' murder... it didn't look good," she said.

Tamar Palmon-Maoz, who testified earlier, said the family felt Daniel was tied to their parents' murder. "I kept thinking Danny is somehow connected to it. From the first day I thought he had something to do with the murder. Not committed it necessarily, but had something to do with it," she said.