Main suspects in Jerusalem couple’s murder are relatives of victims

Main suspects in Jerusalem couple’s murder are relatives of victims

Court lifts gag order on some details of case; man’s detention extended by 8 days, wife’s by 6 as investigation focuses on criminal motive

Tamar Kaduri, left, and husband Yehuda, who were found murdered in their Jerusalem home on January 13, 2019. (Courtesy)
Tamar Kaduri, left, and husband Yehuda, who were found murdered in their Jerusalem home on January 13, 2019. (Courtesy)

The two suspects arrested in connection with a double murder last month in the capital are a husband and wife, relatives of the victims, the Jerusalem District Court permitted for publication Wednesday after partially lifting a gag order on the case.

The husband’s remand was extended by eight days on Tuesday by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, and that of his wife by six days. While the man is the main suspect in the killings, his wife is suspected of conspiracy to commit a crime and obstructing the investigation.

The bodies of Yehuda Kaduri, 71, and his wife Tamar, 68, were found January 13 in their apartment in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of southern Jerusalem, with signs of violence, including stab wounds, in an apparent double homicide.

Most details of the case are still under gag order. Police initially looked into both terrorist and criminal motives for the attack.

Security and medical forces seen outside the building where two people were found dead in an apartment in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in Jerusalem, January 13, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

In addition to the two main suspects another family member was also questioned Tuesday and then allowed to go home.

Channel 12 news reported that the court agreed to a police request that other family members not be allowed to take part in the proceedings Tuesday due to a concern that they would also obstruct the investigation.

Attorney Shai Shlomi, representing the suspects, said: “Within the limitation of the gag order, I can say that in our opinion the suspicions of murder are very low. It is our feeling this is complete confusion and things will become clear later,” Haaretz reported Tuesday.

Shlomi said his clients had no involvement in the crime and he will seriously consider appealing against the decision to extend the remand of the two suspects “without a motive, no motive at all, to carry out such a serious offense.”

In early February, police appeared to hit a dead end in their search for the killer when a Jerusalem court ordered the release of the sole suspect held in the case, a Palestinian man who worked in the area.

But in recent days, the investigation appears to have taken a new turn, with police questioning people who knew the Kaduris, including employees at Yehuda Kaduri’s accounting firm, as well as family members.

The covered bodies of Yehuda and Tamar Kaduri at their funeral in Jerusalem, January 14, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

On Tuesday, police asked for court approval to remand two unnamed individuals detained in the wake of the second round of questioning, suggesting that investigators no longer believed the double murder was a terror attack but suspected a criminal murder by someone who knew the couple.

The development came after the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled last week that there was insufficient evidence to hold the unidentified Palestinian suspect in the slaying, and granted him a conditional release.

Shortly after the couple was found dead, a family friend told reporters last month that Yehuda, a successful accountant, had been taking care of his wife in recent years. Their neighbor said people felt something wasn’t right when Yehuda did not show up at synagogue for Shabbat prayers on Saturday morning. “He would normally say ahead of time that he would be missing,” the neighbor told reporters. “He had a heart of gold.”

The victims’ daughter reportedly had been unable to contact her parents for a few days and finally called emergency services, who broke open the door to the apartment on Mordechai Elkahi Street. Medics subsequently pronounced their deaths at the scene.

The couple is survived by three children.

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