Suspected Jewish Terrorist: I Was Tortured by Shin Bet Interrogators

Pearlman lawyer wants court to see tapes of questioning to determine whether his claims were true, and if so, to consider releasing him.

Chaim Pearlman, the suspect in the murder of four Palestinians over several years, was brought to the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court on Sunday for his first time out in the open since his arrest. At the court, he told Judge Dvora Atar that he had been tortured by Shin Bet security service personnel.

Pearlman's lawyer, Sharon Nahary, requested the session to revisit the matter of her client's remand, in light of his claims of abuse. Nahary asked the judge to watch the video tapes of his client's interrogation to determine whether his claims were true, and if so, to consider releasing him.

Suspected Jewish terrorist Chaim Pearlman

Pearlman then stood and addressed the judge himself.

"In the days I was not in court, from the morning until 12 or 1 at night I was questioned," he said. "My hands were tied behind my back and my feet were cuffed... One would shout in my ear you're contemptible, a beast. Another one would scream 'you're breaking, you're weak.' Somebody in front would poke me with their fingers and somebody in back would use their fists... They called my wife a prostitute and said she wants a divorce. One veteran interrogator came up to me and started embracing me. He touched my beard and said I had cockroaches in my beard."

When asked why he hadn't brought up these claims during his remand hearing, Pearlman said he "thought that's how it is in the Shin Bet ... that they're allowed to do whatever they want."

A police representative told the court that he is not present at the interrogations and therefore could not comment. He also said that the interrogations are not recorded.

The Shin Bet said that the suspect has been questioned according to the law, and that it did not intend to respond to the individual claims.

Judge Atar is to render her decision today.

Meanwhile, Atar remanded Pearlman's suspected accomplice, David Sitbon, yesterday for an additional four days.