Shaichat Murder Case Full of Loose Ends'

Responding to yesterday's Haaretz disclosure of apparent discrepancies between the autopsy report on slain IDF soldier Oleg Shaichat and statements made by Mohammed Anabtawi, the suspect's attorney, Rafi Masalha, declared, "Apart from these [discrepancies in the coroner's report] the case is full of contradictions and loose ends." A number of statements extracted from Anabtawi, his lawyer added, do not square with evidence culled from the crime scene.

Hussein Sa'ada, Anabtawi's uncle, stated yesterday: "I believe Mohammed will be released. It appears that Shin Bet interrogators force-fed him statements."

Last July, after the soldier's body was discovered in Kafr Kana, three men from the town were arrested, and a confession was extracted from one of them. Then, months later, after police foiled an attempted attack at the Beit Rimon junction in the north, Anabtawi was arrested and confessed to complicity in the Shaichat murder. Last week, in a dramatic development, the three Kafr Kana suspects were released.

Yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Dorit Beinisch ordered prosecutors in the northern district to submit to Nazareth District Court as soon as possible all evidence and information pertaining to Anabtawi's arrest. This evidence, Beinisch explained, should be available when a re-examination is conducted of the case against the three Kafr Kana men, the original suspects in the case who are now under house arrest. This re-examination will determine whether the three are to be definitively acquitted.

Arrest remand orders for Ala Musa, 23, from Kafr Manda, who is accused of belonging - along with Anabtawi - to the "Galilee Liberators" gang, were extended. Musa faces charges involving conspiracy to kidnap IDF soldiers, shooting attacks on Border Police vehicles, and the throwing of Molotov cocktails.