Suspects in Pizem Case Say Rights Violated by Police

The fifth day in the murder trial of four-year-old Rose Pizem focused on the kind of pressure police used when questioning Rony Ron and Marie Renault, the girl's grandfather and mother, and the case's two prime suspects.

Three officers responded to claims by the defense attorneys that the suspects' rights were violated during their interrogation.

One of the primary claims made by the defense team was that Ron, the victim's grandfather and main suspect in the murder, had not been informed by the investigators that he was being questioned as a murder suspect.

Moreover, the attorneys claim their client was not allowed to sleep or contact a lawyer, and that when they finally did allow him legal counsel, the police listened in on the conversation.

One of the investigators, Avi Monker confirmed that during one of the interrogation sessions Ron broke down crying.

Another officer, Yehuda Lahat, said that Marie and their two other daughters were brought into the station and were allowed to see Ron through the glass.

"Now they will be taken from you," Lahat said he told Ron.

Ron's attorney's, Gil Friedman and Yifat Katz, argued the police used this sort of psychological pressure in order to "break" their client.

"You have stupefied me, driven me mad, tricked me," Ron was quoted as saying during a session with Eli Korland, another police investigator. Ron argues that he was questioned by many officers, each making him different promises, and he told each of them what they wanted to hear.

Korland's questioning of Marie was particularly short, because she fell asleep.

"Why didn't you take her to the holding cell to sleep?" Renault's attorney, Merav Greenberg asked the investigators.

"I did not care if she slept on the floor, I just did not care," Korland responded. "The entire police force was out in search [of Rose]. I slept at the office, I slept on tables, so she could too."

"At one stage, she [Marie] started saying things about the girl that I could not believe a mother could say about her daughter," Lahat said. "That she [Rose] eats her feces, that she beats other girls, that she was taken to Habad but they did not accept her because she was not Jewish."

Attorney Revital Swaid, defending Renault quoted other statements: "I love her [Rose] like I love myself. The psychologist had said that I should give her up."