Police Unmoved by Jerusalem Man's Attempts to Blame Twin Brother for Parents' Stabbing

Prosecutors say police were not misled by Daniel Moaz's attempts to frame his twin brother, a police officer, for their parents' stabbing; police say Maoz killed his parents in order to pay off gambling debts with the inheritance.

At no point in the murder investigation of Jerusalem couple Noah and Nurit Maoz did police believe the prime suspect - Daniel Maoz, one of the victims' sons - that his twin brother was the real culprit, the prosecution said at Daniel's murder trial on Sunday.

"The police did not suspect that Nir Maoz was the murderer, not even for one moment," lead prosecutor Yuval Kaplinsky said at the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday, the first day of the summation phase of the trial. "I oversaw part of the investigation and am responsibly telling the nation: There was no suspicion of this for one moment. There was not the slightest indication or proof."

Police say 28-year-old Daniel Maoz, a lawyer, fatally stabbed his parents last August in their Ramot, Jerusalem home, so that he could use his share of the inheritance to pay off gambling debts. But Daniel insisted that his twin brother, Nir, is the killer, and that police could not have questioned his brother properly because Nir Maoz is a fellow police officer.

"Reporters need to ask themselves how my brother Nir, who is a police officer in the Jerusalem police force, could have been questioned by the Jerusalem police," Daniel Maoz said yesterday. "I repeat: Nir is the murderer."

Daniel Maoz testified last month that he witnessed his twin brother, Nir, killing their parents, and tried to stop him. But, Daniel said, he refrained from telling police because he was nervous that Nir would reveal Daniel's sexual interest in minors if he turned him in.

Kaplinsky said the defendant's claim that Nir is the killer falls apart in the face of logic. "The killer's claim demands legal acrobatics," he said.

And the three judges in the case were also dubious about the explanation. They had asked why, if Nir was the culprit, it was Daniel who had done computer searches on killing parents, gaining an inheritance and tampering with evidence, as well as on the massacre of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar last year.

"Your answer is not logical," Judge Zvi Segal, who heads the panel, told the defendant at the time. "How do you reach the conclusion that if you're silent he won't carry out another murder? After all, you claim that he already committed murder."

Daniel Maoz
Olivier Fitoussi