Twins: Only One of Us Involved in Boy's Accidental Death

Twins Naor and Adir Sudmi, 23, from moshav Bnei Ayish, who are accused of molesting and murdering a 7-year-old, told the court yesterday only Naor was with Leon Kalantarov when he died and he had accidentally caused his death by placing his hand over the boy's mouth during an argument about using the computer. The brothers say Kalantarov suffered from a respiratory deficiency that was discovered only in the autopsy, so nobody could expect Naor's actions would lead to death.

According to a response the twins filed yesterday to the Petah Tikva District Court, in December 2009, Naor Sudmi and Leon Kalantarov went to the Sudmi family home to play computer games. An argument developed over who got to play first, and Kalantarov raised his voice. Naor said he didn't want his mother, who was sleeping in the next room, to be disturbed and blocked Kalantarov's mouth and asked him to be quiet. Kalantarov died on the spot because of the respiratory deficiency, the brothers say.

Adir Sudmi Archive Eli Hershkovitz
Eli Hershkovitz

According to the indictment served against the twins in February, the two sexually molested Kalantarov, strangled him and then wrapped his head and body in plastic bags and pillow cases, tightened with paper tape, and concealed it in the bedding case under the bed, where it was found by police.

The parents of the 7-year-old, Arthur and Yana Kalantarov, voiced disdain for the brothers' new version of events. "They were both in the room and both are guilty," said Arthur. "Why did they shut his mouth? Why? So he doesn't shout? So he dies? The other definitely held him because our boy was strong, healthy and tall. "

The dead boy's mother said: "We want them to get life sentences, never to come out."

The brothers said Naor tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Kalantarov and since he was afraid the body would begin to smell, he wrapped it in a blanket and removed Kalantarov's clothes to ease the task. As for the traces of semen with DNA matching that of both twins that was found on the body, the defense said Naor became sexually aroused and masturbated by the boy's naked body. Both twins are accused of sexually molesting other children.

The twins maintain Naor then dressed Kalantarov again, as wrapping him in the blanket didn't prove any easier. At this point, his twin Adir, who had been wandering around the moshav came in, and helped his brother wrap Kalantarov in the blanket. Defense attorney Yair Forrer stressed to the court he could not verify Adir's alibi of walking around the moshav.