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Dirani Testifies in Israeli Court

Lebanese prisoner Mu’stafa Dirani testified before Tel Aviv District Court for the first time in his lawsuit against Israel on Tuesday, two days before he is to be released.

Dirani, the man believed to have captured missing Israeli pilot Ron Arad in 1986, told reporters before the trial that he did not kidnap or sell Arad to Iran. Furthermore, he said while he held the pilot, he treated him in an “ethical way”, as opposed to Israel which is guilty of treating him (Dirani) in an illegal and immoral way, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz.

Dirani is suing Israel for NIS 6 million (approximately $1.3 million) for being raped by an Israeli interrogator and sustaining other abuses in prison.

Israel’s Magistrates Court ordered Dirani’s testimony to be made public, despite official requests for it to remain “behind closed doors.”

Kidnapped in 1994, Dirani has since been detained by Israel, without a trial. He is one of the high-profile prisoners scheduled to be released by Israel on Thursday as part of the latest prisoner exchange. [Details here. [1]]

Dirani is the former security chief of the militant Lebanese organization Amal.