Sunday, March 29, 2009

Roy Farran Case Continues

The Roy Farran story gets a boost:

The Sunday Telegraph

British war hero to be investigated again for murder of Jewish 'terrorist'
A private detective has been hired to investigate an alleged murder of a Jewish underground fighter in 1947 by a British major.

...But Major Farran's record of service after the war, when he was seconded to the British Section of the Palestine Police, cast a shadow over the rest of his life. He was implicated in the murder of Alexander Rubowitz, a 16-year-old member of the Jewish underground fighting British rule, who was kidnapped in Jerusalem in May 1947 - and was cleared at the time of any involvement in the Jewish teenager's death.

Now, however, his reputation is posthumously at risk again from a fresh investigation into the ugly incident, and friends fear that it may be tarnished for ever by the claim that Major Farran was the killer.

Steve Rambam, a private investigator from New York, has been hired by an unnamed Israeli living in America to reopen the case. He hopes to find Rubowitz's body, so that he can be given a proper burial, and discover more about who was responsible for the boy's murder.

He will soon visit Britain, where he hopes that five surviving members of the Palestine Police whom he has identified as members of the covert units might be willing to "clear their consciences" and reveal the burial place of their alleged victim. "There are people in the UK who have personal knowledge of the operations of these so-called 'snatch squads' because they were participants," Mr Rambam told The Sunday Telegraph.

"They would have been privy to who the local co-conspirators were, and all sorts of other good intelligence information that could lead us to where the body was concealed."

..."Roy Farran was a lifelong friend, and a murderer he was certainly not," said Mr Green, who now lives in the Cotswolds. "The whole thing was a put-up stunt. He was one of the most highly decorated officers. He was a legend among fighting men. Someone tried to pin something on him to provoke trouble out there."

He added: "I can think of many atrocities committed by Jewish terrorists." He recalled how many of his friends had been killed or badly injured, including one who was paralysed for life. Asked whether Major Farran had a violent temper, Mr Green said: "No, Roy was always very calm."

In October 1947, the entire investigation file was burned by the British authorities in Palestine. Mr Rambam believes this was an officially sanctioned cover-up. But copies of some documents had been already sent to London, where they were kept secret for almost 60 years until being disclosed in 2005.

...When he visits Britain, Mr Rambam hopes to meet surviving members of the so-called "Q" patrols, the secret counter-terrorism force charged with suppressing the Jewish underground.

His client wants to find Rubowitz's body so that the boy can finally be given a proper burial. The documents suggest his corpse was disposed of somewhere along the road between Jerusalem and Jericho.

...But Edward Horne, 87, who serves as President of the Palestine Police Old Comrades' Association, said: "It's not the way the British do things, we were not fighting the Gestapo. I was vehemently against the squads, the incident never should have happened."

and the Jewish Chronicle

SAS hero’s guilty secret

...Farran described some of their operations and claimed they were on the brink of a decisive success when he was framed. The Jews accused him of abducting and killing a teenager named Alexander Rubowitz. With bitterness he alleged that the British government was prepared to make him a scapegoat so he fled to Syria and was only persuaded to return by his old regimental commander. Farran absconded from detention a second time after he was formally charged with murder and gave himself up only after Lehi gunned down several British soldiers as a reprisal.

He was eventually acquitted after a remarkable trial in October 1947...What Farran did not reveal was that his barrister, William Fearnley-Whittingstall, got him off the hook thanks to some dubious manoeuvres. Fearnley-Whittingstall manipulated client-attorney privilege to prevent the prosecution submitting in evidence a potentially damning written statement Farran had made while in detention. The rules of a court martial also enabled Fergusson to decline to give evidence of what Farran had said to him about the incident lest he incriminate himself.

After the trial, Farran’s solicitor blackmailed the Palestine administration and police into destroying this crucial evidence. He threatened to expose the covert operations of the “special squads” unless every copy of Farran’s statement was burned. Even though the Rubowitz case was still open, the police felt forced to comply.

However, Farran’s lawyer overlooked crucial dispatches that were sent to the Colonial Office in London. These survived in the files unnoticed until they were recently released. They include the report of a statement by Bernard Fergusson that, on May 7 1947, the day after Rubowitz was abducted, Farran told him that his squad had seized the boy, whom they spotted distributing Lehi posters in a Jerusalem suburb. They had driven to a remote spot outside the city, where, in the course of “interrogation”, Farran struck the teenager on the head with a rock and killed him. The policemen had then mutilated the boy’s body, burned his clothes, and left the corpse in the desert.

The historian is always to some extent a detective, but it’s rare that scholarly research leads to the solution of an actual crime. Sadly, the proof that Roy Farran of Winged Dagger was a killer casts a pall over his glittering career.

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