Continued - Investigation Record of Saturday 26, Zul-Hijjah, 1255 H (March 1, 1840).

The Investigator addressing the servant Murad Al-Fattal:


Q:   "You say that you left after sunset to send the barber, and that you did not return to the house until after Isha. And that you saw the slain Priest in the empty room after his clothes had been removed. Where did you spend the time between these events?"

A:   "I worked on recording the monies I had spent in running my master's house."

Q:   "What kind of expenses require that much time? Do you not see that this is not a logical statement which can be accepted? You are a servant, and therefore you must do whatever you are ordered to do. You should not worry or be afraid to tell the truth, especially since you have been promised by the Governor a grant of pardon to tell the truth. What would happen if His Excellency, the Governor, were to order examination of the expenses which you said that you recorded and it was discovered that you have been lying? Then all of your statements would be false."

A:   "But why would the Governor care about who recorded the expenses?"


The Investigator responded: "So he could be sure that you are telling the truth as to what you did during your absence from your master's house, during this period of time."

The servant said: "The truth is that my master sent me to Meyer Farhi, Murad Farhi, and Aaron Islamboli to warn them to be alert; that the Priest's servant might come looking for his master. If so, they must do whatever is necessary in order not to reveal or make known their secret. I stayed with them after I sent the barber to my master's house because they request this of me."


Q:   "How did you contact each one of them? And what did they do after you delivered the warning to them?"

A:   "First I went to Murad Farhi. I found him at his house in the company of Isaac Picciotto.l I

1 Isaac Picciotto was an employee of the Austrian Embassy, and enjoys the protective custody of the Austrian Government - through the Austrian Consul's Office in Damascus. The Austrian Consul was not aware of Isaac Picciotto's involvement in the crime, and was very fair and cooperative in his actual participation with the Investigation Committee. But later he became partial in his defense on behalf of the accused murderers and tried to mislead the investigator's work.


informed him of the message in front of Isaac Picciotto. He replied: "Well! Go to your master." Then I went to Aaron Islamboli's house. I found him alone in his room, eating his supper. I gave him the message regarding the Priest's servant. He said. "Go to your
work." But then he asked me who else was to be notified regarding the matter?" I told him. Then I left his house." I then went to Meyer Farhi's house in the middle of the alley. I found him in front of his house with Aslan ben Rofael. I informed him of the warning message and he said to me: "I am staying here." Afterwards, I went to Joseph Al-Rayek's shop where I worked on recording the expenses. I stayed in the street killing time as long as I could in order to be late in returning. When I returned, about Isha time, to my master's house I found the Priest slain and naked, as I have previously stated."


The Investigator then asked:

Q:   Tell us what you know regarding the information you obtained from the leaders of the community in the question of the Priest's servant, Ibrahim Amarah, from the time of the slaying until the time of your arrest."

The servant answered:

A:   "On Thursday morning, one day after the incident took place, I came to David Harari's house. The following were present: Aaron Islamboli, Isaac Picciotto, Murad Farhi, Aslan ben Fufael, and Meyer Farhi. Also present were David and his brothers Aaron and Isaac; and Rabbi Moussa Abou Al-Afieh and Joseph Lifyado. They stayed in the house for about two hours - from three to five o'clock, Arabic Time)."

Q:   "Did you hear what they were talking about?"

A:   "I do not remember what was said because I was busy preparing the tobacco and the water-pipes."


The Investigator responded by saying:

"Murad! This is not logical since you yourself carried your master's warning to Murad Farhi, Aaron Islamboli, and Meyer Farhi: "to be careful of the Priest's servant." You say that you do not know where they kept him, and how they disposed of him. Ibrahim Amarah, the servant, and the Priest are missing. You are the one who warned the other three men as you were ordered to do by your master. You told them to do whatever was necessary so that the news would not spread. Give us your true testimonial statement of exactly what happened so that you may obtain complete pardon!"

Murad AL-Fattal answered:

"I heard Meyer Farhi talking to the others who were meeting in my master's house on Thursday. I learned that they had dscovered the servant, Ibrahim Amarah going around looking for his master, the Priest Thomas. And that the five men: Aaron Islamboli, Murad Farhi, Meyer Farhi, Aslan ben Rofael, and Isaac Picciotto brought him into the house. They said to him: 'Enter the house. Your master is inside giving the vaccine against smallpox to the boy.' By this method they brought him inside. That's what I heard."

Q:   "Undoubtedly, you must have heard of what they did with the servant. Who helped in his slaying?"

A:   "I was unable to hear all the talking. I am a servant and I was busy serving the group. All that I know is that they did to him exactly what they had done to the Priest before him. They also threw him in the Salty River through the flowing stream which ends in the River."

Q:   "How could Meyer Farhi and his companions say that they slew the servant the same was as the Priest when they had no knowledge as to how their friends disposed of the Priest?"

A:   "They asked the others about the slaying of the Priest and were told how he had been slain and his remains disposed of. When they learned of this, master Meyer said that they in turn would repeat what had happened to the Priest with his servant; they would dispose of the servant by throwing his remains in the ditch which empties directly into the River."

Q:   "Were the five which you mentioned by name alone or were there others in their company? Who works as a servant at Meyer Farhi's house? What is his name?"

A:   "I know of no one other than these five who took part in this operation. I do not know whether the servant who works in the Meyer's house knew of this incident. The servant is a boy under the age of twelve years. His name is Obeid Al-Fags."

Q:   "Do you think that the barber, Soliman Saloom, knew anything about the servant of the Priest?"

A:   "The barber knew nothing regarding him. Because when my master sent me he instructed me to say nothing about the story of the Priest-no, of the warning I was to deliver to the party regarding his servant. I do not think that the barber knew anything regarding the events in regard to the slaying of the Priest's servant."

The Assistant to the French Consul, Mr. Beaudin asked: "How did you meet Murad Farhi when you went to his house? How did you find him?" Murad Al-Fattal answered: "I entered Murad's house after sunset, before dark. I found him eating his supper, Isaac Picciotto was with him. I gave them the warning regarding the servant of the Priest."

The Governor, Sharif Pasha, asked: "How did your master know that the servant of the Priest would come to the neighborhood looking for his master?" Al-Fattal answered: "It is a known fact that the Priest always tells his servant as to the places he will be visiting. Therefore, they concluded that most likely the servant would come looking for his master. That is why they sent me with the warning in this regard."

The investigation ended at this point for the day, then was resumed on Friday, Muharram, 1, 1256 H. When the investigation resumed Mr. Isaac Picciotto was brought in accompanied by Mr. Joseph Ayrouth, the representative of the Austrian Consul to Syria. The Investigator asked Isaac Picciotto: "Tell us what you know regarding the slaying of the Priest Thomas according to the confession of David Harari's servant. Also what you know regarding David Harari's report in regard to the slaying of the Priest, and his warning mission regarding the servant of the Priest as stated in the Saturday Report on the 26th of Zul-Hijjah, 1256 H." Isaac Picciotto answered: "On Wednesday, the day on which Priest Thomas disappeared, I was accompanying His Excellency the Consul of Austria, in the field. We returned from our trip on fourth of an hour or so before sunset. With the Consul we went to my house. However, my wife was not home, so I returned with the Consul to the street. Then he walked in the direction of his house and I went to Mullim Rufael's house. I sat with his children for about half an hour, then I returned to my house and had my supper. I then went with my wife to Mr. Maqsoud's house because we were invited their for the evening. We stayed past nine p.m. and returned to our house. I knew nothing in regard to what the servant Murad Al-Fattal has confessed. I did not see him at all.

The questioning continued:

Q.   "Al-Fattal said that you went to Murad Farhis's house and not to Rofael Farhi's house. Exactly, where did you go?"

A.   "There are two doors to my house. The house is in a deserted neighborhood. One door leads to this neighborhood, and there is a bar opposite. The other door which leads to the Black Fountain Alley. Together, we went towards the entrance to the Jewish Quarters. The Consul then proceeded towards Al-Shaghoor district. I continued to Mullallim Rofael's house. If I had wanted to go to Murad's house, I would not have taken the long way. This confirms that I did not go to Murad's house on that night at all."

Murad Al-Fattal was brought back, and he faced Isaac Picciotto. The Investigator asked him about the fact of his confession. He reconfirmed that he saw them go in the house entrance in front of the garden to the house. Then Isaac Picciotto cried: "He is a Liar! He is a liar!

The Investigator asked Isaac: "But why would this man lie and accuse you?" Isaac did not say more than "He is a liar!"

The servant Murad returned and admitted that Isaac Picciotto had also come the next day to David's Harari's house. There he met with Murad Farhi, Meyer Farhi, Aslan ben Rofael, and Aaron Islamboli. The time was morning, and they talked about the subject.

The Investigator asked him:

Q.   And how did they conclude their talk regarding the subject?

A.   They asked them: What did you do with the Priest Thomas? They replied in detail as to what they have done-as it has been stated before." The others asked the first party: "And you! What did you do to the servant?" They replied: "We first met in Meyer Farhi's house. The Priest's servant came inquiring about his master. We said to him: "He is inside.... enter." When he came inside we locked the door and slew him, as you yourselves did to the Priest. This is what they said in addition to "and we threw him in the outside sewer line to the Meyer's house. They stayed with them until noon (on Thursday).


The Investigator turned his questioning to Isaac Picciotto:

Q.   Do you admit to the truth of servant Murad's statement?

A.   Regarding Wednesday evening, it has already been stated. But as to Thursday morning, I was sent by the Austrian Consul's Assistant, on the Consul's order to get in touch with a Rabbi in Beirut for the purpose of bringing Shedade Islambaui, in order to talk to him and to secure money. We went to his house about four o'clock (Arabic Time), but we did not find him due to the fact that he had been invited that day to the house of Aslan Farhi ben Joseph. We stayed with the Consul in the street. I then entered to visit a sick girl (one of Salmon's daughters) named Aster in her own house. The Consul's Assistant was absent for half an hour. Then we returned to the house and sent for Shedade Islambouli, and we talked with him. Then we ate dinner with the Consul's Assistant present and left together to the marketplace about six o'clock noon (Arabic Time).


At this point the Investigator directed his questioning to the servant, Murad Al-Fattal:

Q.   How did you give your statement, and did you accuse Isaac? All that is required of you is that you tell the truth, and do not accuse. Give witness to what you know and what you have seen without lying or distorting the facts."

A.   What I Knew is that these five men, Isaac Picciotto included, were together. As to what Isaac said about four o'clock, five o'clock, or six o'clock, I carry no watch. So I cannot pinpoint the exact time but I know that they came late in the morning, and stayed for a while. Then they left that day, Thursday, and asked Murad if the stream emptied directly into the Salty River. He replied that it did. How then could he deny my seeing him with Murad after sunset? It is so that he may absolve himself? Now I remember how I can refute his allegation. How can he deny and defend himself with proof when he is the one who came Thursday evening to David Harari's house before the arrest of the group. He sent for his uncle, Rabbi Jacob Abou A1-Afieh, and they stayed together until about midnight. And he told the group that night that "the barber, Soliman Saloom, had confessed to the incident today, and he mentioned your names. I think that you are going to be arrested tomorrow." Then someone and told him to go and see Murad Farhi. He got up immediately, but the group requested of him to send his servant, with the news, and to keep them informed as to what was happening, and why Murad wanted to see him. He with servant went. And after he met with Murad Farhi he sent his servant back to the group to inform them that nothing had happened. So they were relieved.

On the second day, Friday, Aaron went to Isaac Picciotto's house and hid for three days, to the point that his brothers thought that he had been arrested. After three days Aaron returned to his house, and his brothers met with him. They told him that they were worried because of his absence, and that they had thought that he had been arrested. He told them that he was in Isaac Picciotto's house. While they were talking the three Harari brothers were arrested at their brother David's house."


The Investigator then said to Murad Al-Fattal:

Q.   "What is the name of Isaac Picciotto's servant who was sent from the Harari's house to Murad Farhi's house at the end of the evening party to inform the group not to be worried?"

A.   The name of Murad Farhi's servant, the one who came and called Isaac Picciotto from the party, is Shehade. However, Isaac Picciotto's servant, whom he sent to the group so they would not be worried is Yehya Bzaini. He is a young man attaining manhood.


The Investigation Committe requested from Aslan ben Rofael Farhi and his daughter, and from Miss Leosha, Shehade Slambouli's daughter written statements regarding Isaac Picciotto's visit to them. Their statements were complete denials of any contact with Isaac and they indicated disharmony between Picciotto and Farhi's Family.


The Investigation Committee convened and resumed its work on Wednesday, Muharram 8, 1256 H. The Investigator started by asking the servant Murad Al-Fattal the following questions:

Q.   You earlier confessed that you met with those who slew the Priest's servant when you went to their place. Who were those persons whom you saw and met with?

A.   I went to Murad Farhi's house and I found Isaac Picciotto with Murad Farhi. Then I went to Aaron Islambouli's house and found him eating his supper. Then I went to Meyer Farhir's house and I found him with Aslan ben Rogael. This is what I have already told you in my previous confession.

Q.   Aslan has denied this and has presented proofs that he came to his house on Wednesday afternoon, and that he did not leave his house until the next day. Tell us precisely and truthfully all that you know.

A.   I saw Aslan with my own eyes, he and Meyer Farhi. I have no reason to accuse them. I said nothing other than what I saw.


The Investigator asked Muallim Rofael:

Q.   Can you tell us the exact time when your son Aslan returned to the house on Wednesday, the day that Priest Thomas disappeared?

A.   "He and I were in the Court House about ten o'clock (Arabic Time), just before sunset. He returned to the house and I went to the Council.

Q.   Did you know what he did in the house?

A.   I returned to the house at eleven o'clock, and he was still there.

Q.   Where did you spend the evening on that night?

A.   I did not spend time outside the house. It is not my habit to spend my evenings outside.

Q.   Did Isaac Picciotto come to visit with you that night?

A.   No! he did not come to visit us that night.


The Investigation closed. It resumed its investigations on Thursday, Muharram 9, 1256 H. The Investigator started by asking Murad Farhi's servant, Shehade Adl Ballas, what was his name. (He had been brought to the inquiry) Then said:

Q.   Who sent you to call Isaac Picciotto, and what time was it?

A.   My master, Murad Farhi, sent me to ask Isaac Picciotto to come to David Harari's house. That was about four o'clock in the evening (Arabic Time). But I did not enter the Harari's house. For this reason I don't know who was present for the evening gathering. Their servant, Murad, opened the door and I asked him to tell Isaac Picciotto that my master wanted him to come by his house after the party.

Q.   When you went to call Isaac Picciotto was that before or after the arrest of the Harari's brothers?

A.   It was before their arrest.

Q.   Who was spending the evening with your master when he sent you to call Isaac Picciotto from the Harari's house?

A.   There was none with him except Khawaja Bokhoor, the treasury attendant, The servants were in the kitchen.

Q.   When Isaac Picciotto came to your master's house did he stay long?

A.   He stayed about an hour. Afterwards he and Khawaja Bokhoor left together.

Q.   At what time did Khawaja Bokhoor come to spend the evening with your master?

A.   He came after the Isha.

Q.   How did you go to David Harari's house to call Isaac Picciotto? How did you know that he was there? Was it your master who sent you to Isaac Picciotto's house and when you did not find him there you went to David Harari's house?

A.   My master said to me, "Go to David Harari's house where you will find Khawaja Isaac Picciotto, and ask him to come to my house after the party." I went to David Harari's house and I found him (Isaac Picciotto) there as I have testified earlier.


Isaac Picciotto's servant, Yahya Bzaiti, was then brought in for questioning. The Investigator asked him:

Q.   Who spent the evening at David Harari's house the day his master, Isaac Picciotto, spent the evening with him.

A.   Jacob Abou Al-Afh, Shehade Lazbouna, David Harari, and my master Isaac Picciotto were all present.   That was before the arrest of the Harari's brothers.

Q.   What were the subjects of their conversation of the evening meeting?

A.   They sent me to Khawaja Murad's house to ask what had been accomplished through communication with His Excellency Bahri Bey. He told me to inform them that His Excellency Bahri Bey had not taken any actions except to search some houses to find the criminals. I gave them his message. They asked me: 'Is that all?' I replied: 'Yes!' Then I returned and went to the kitchen.

Q.   When did your master go to Murad's house? What happened after he left?

A.   My master, Isaac Picciotto, left about four o'clock. Knawaja Bokoor, the treasury attendant was there. After that my master sent me to David Harari's house to tell the group, "not to be worried, that there was nothing except good news, God willing." I returned, and gave them the message.

Q.   To whom did you give the message?

A.   There were only David Harari and Jacob Abou Al-Afieh.

Q.   Did anyone come calling on your master to request that he go to David Harari's house? Or did he decide to go by himself? At what time did he go?

A.   He came by himself to the Harari's house. It was at the beginning of the evening party at the Isha time.

Q.   Were you with your master the night of the party at Khawaja Maqsoud's house?

A.   Yes! I was with him. Also his wife and a neighbor lady were present with him.

Q.   At what time was the party?

A.   It was after all had finished their supper meal, including the servants. There was some delay while the master's wife finished with dressing. Also the neighbor lady had to get dressed and put her daughter to bed. Since Maqsoud's house was far away we arrived there about one or one and a half hours after supper.

Q.   On your way to Maqsoud's house you pass by a neighborhood alley. Were the gates closed or opened?

A.   We went by the main road. There are no gates on this route, until we arrived at the Poors' Gate, which was closed. We knocked on the gate for a minute or two, then the night watchman opened the gate for us. After that we arrive at the Gate of Boulad Alley, where Khawaja Maqsoud lives. It was closed also. We knocked on it and the night watchman opened it immediately. We stayed at the party that night.

Monday's Investigation Report Muharram 13, 1256 H.


The Investigator began by asking Soliman Saloom, the barber:


Q:   "What do you know regarding the murder of the Priest's servant?"

A:   "I did not know any or connection with his slaying.

Q:   If you did not know of his murder and have no connection with it, why then did you give testimony the last time that: "the servant was not with his master, and those who murdered him were not the same group that slew the Priest Thomas, and that the slaying took place at a different location with the knowledge of that group." This indicates that you knew the killers and the place where the murder was performed.

A:   Yes! I have confessed to that, but I have no connection with it. Because when the servant, Murad Al-Fattal, came, the Priest had already been slain and removed to the second room. I asked Murad why he was so late? He answered me that they sent him on an important errand. I asked him: "What was this task?" He said: "The time is not appropriate now to talk about it." A short time later I was alone with him while we were working to get rid of the Priest remains. I asked him again and he told me that they had sent him to Myer Farhi's house, and to Murad Farhi, Isaac Picciotto, Joseph Farhi, and Jacob Abou Al-AFieh. I do not remember exactly if he mentioned the name of Aaron Islamboli or any others. I then asked him again: "Why did they send you to those men?" He replied: "Because of the Priest's servant, Ibrahim Amarah." Since we were busy and nervous, I did not ask any more questions."

Q:   This confession confirms that you knew what happened in detail. Because you said that you did not ask more questions then of the servant. This indicates that you knew there was more information than what you had already obtained. Had you asked more questions you would have learned from the servant what you wanted to know. Undoubtedly, you arrived at the answers to your questions because you concluded from his answer to the first question the information you sought. Why is it that you were repeatedly asking him questions during your work together to get rid of the remains of the Priest's body, was it out of curiosity or just to pass the time? This was an opportunity to learn of the method which was used to dispose of the body of the Priest's servant.

A:   The servant, Murad Al-Fattal, told me during the questions and answers that they slew the Priest's servant, and cut his body and disposed of it through the outside sewer line which empties into the Salty River. And that the operation was completed at Yehya Meyer Farhi's house.

Q:   Did the servant, Murad Al-Fattal, say where they slew him? Were they assisted by a butcher? If they were assisted by anyone, who is it?

A:   The servant, Al-Fattal, told me that they slew him (the Priest's servant) in the room next to the hall, and that they broke his bones and threw the pieces in the outside sewer line; and that the servant, Al-Fattal, was present at the slaying until the work was finished. Then he came to his master's house where we worked together on the dismemberment of the Priest and the disposal of his remains as I have testified to before. I did not ask about who witnessed the act of slaying the servant Ibrahim Amarah, or who did the slaying. I do not know if they were assisted by anyone. All I know is that Yahya Meyer, his son Salman, and Moussa, and the others whose names I mentioned previously were present at the slaying. He did not tell me who wa: present and was not. I remember that he mentioned the names: Murad Farhi, Joseph Farhi, Yehya Meyer Farhi and his son, Rabbi Jacob Abou Al-Afieh (the brother of Rabbi Moussa Abou Al-Afieh), and the servant Murad.

Q:   Why were you satisfied with his answers thus far? Why did you not ask him about the names of those who attended the celebration?

A:   I did not ask him about the names in detail, but in a general manner. The names he mentioned to me, which I remember, were the ones I have already mentioned. The Servant, Al-Fattal, knows the details of the operation because he said to me: "we slew him and cut him to pieces, breaking his bones and threw his remains in the sewer line of Yehuda Meyer Farhi's house." Ask the servant, Murad Al-Fattal, because it is possible that he may have mentioned to me other details which I have forgotten.

The Investigator called the servant, Murad Al-Fattal, and resumed the questioning by asking him:


Q:   Tell us what you know about the slaying of the Priest's servant Ibrahim Amarah in truthful way.

A:   I am afraid of getting into trouble. Has anyone other than myself confessed to anything?"

The Investigator replied: "Yes! We have a complete confession. All you have to do is to tell the truth.

The servant confessed as follows:

I returned to my master's house. He asked me: "Did you tell the group about the priest's servant? Did you warn them about him as Instructed? I said: yes. The he told me to go back and see if they had caught him or not; and if so, what they had done with him." I returned to the Meyer's house. I found that they had locked the door from inside, so I knocked and Muallim Meyer Farhi opened the door. I inquired, in my master's name, if they caught Ibrahim Amarah? He replied that they had detained him. He asked me if I wanted to enter or if I wanted to leave. I told him that I would like to enter, and I did. I found Isaac Picciotto and Aaron Islambouli in the process of tying and gagging the servant. After Isaac Picciotto and Aaron Islambouli finished binding the servant, they put a white rag in his mouth and threw him down on the floor. This took place in the small hall of the outside house which includes the sewer line where they later threw his remains. They had secured the door with a big piece of wood, Meyer Farhi, Murad Farhi, Aaron Islambouli, Isaac Picciotto, Aslan ben Rolfael, Jacob Abou Al-Afieh, and Joseph ben Menachim Farhi gathered around him. These seven are the ones who attended the slaying. Some stood by watching while others took part in the act. They brought a polished brass basin, placed it under the servant's neck, and Farhi performed the slaying with his own hands. As for myself and Yehya Meyes, we both held his head while Isaac Picciotto and Aslan ben Rofael sat on his feet, each held one leg and sat on while Aaron Islamboli and the others kept his back pinned down so he would not move until his blood was completely drained. About an hour after his slaying all body motion was completely gone. Then I left them and returned to my master's house, and I told him of what had taken place. The next day, which was Thursday, late in the morning, the above mentioned persons came to my master David's house with the exception of Jacob Abou Al-Afieh and Joseph Farhi. These two did not come.

Q:   What time did the slaying of the servant Ibrahim Amarah take place?

A:   Before the call of the Isha prayer.

Q:   During your presence, did any of the seven leave while the slaying was taking place?

A:   None left during the slaying. I left them when they were straining the blood, all of them were present when I left. I do not know who stayed or who left after that. I left them before the call to Isha prayer and arrived at my master's house after the Isha call to prayer.

Q:   You mentioned in your first confession that your master sent you to Murad Farhi, Aaron Islambouli, and Yehya Farhi; and just now you have mentioned the names of seven persons. Did you go to warn all of them? How did they all get together?

A:   As I stated in my previous confession, my master sent me to carry his message to only three, but Isaac Picciotto was with Murad, and Aslan ben Rofael was with Yehya Meyer. My master ordered me to inform Yehya Meyer. I was to tell that it was his task to inform the others. Yehya Meyer told me "We have your message and you may go."

Q:   How was the servant, Ibrahim Amarah, taken into the house?

A:   As I have stated earlier, which is what I understood what Yehya Meyer had said that "the five were gathered at the door. When the servant, Ibrahim Amarah, arrived inquiring about his master. Yehya Meyer told him that his master had been delayed, and that he was inside performing smallpox vaccination for the boys. If you want him come in. The servant went in. By this method they seized him and killed him as I have stated earlier.

Q:   What happened to the blood? Who took it?

A:   I did not stay to the end to find out who took the blood. At the edge of the steps there was a large white glass bottle, to be used in carrying the blood.

Q:   It is not logical that while the group were occupied by the slaying plan, the servant had ready the bottle previously set out, because the blood is preserved in the basin until the completion of the slaying operation. If you saw the bottle there is no doubt that you saw the filling. Tell what you saw truthfully."

A:   In fact, Aaron Islambouli did the filling of the bottle with blood. He held the bottle and they placed a tin funnel in the opening (like the one used by the sellers of oil), and Menachim Farhi emptied the blood from the basin. After the bottle was filled Aaron Islambouli delivered it to Rabbi Jacob Abou Al-Afieh's hand. At this point I left them. It was about time for the Isha call to prayer.


The Investigator then questioned Mohammad Afandi Abou Al-Afieh requesting that he confess as to what he knew. Abou Al-Afieh responded as follows:

I have nothing to add to my previous confession. All I remember is what the brothers said. Since I do not know them well I was satisfied with what I heard from them during their conversations. I did not try to be a part of their plot. I have already stated that Rabbi Jacob sent me to bring the blood. I took it and delivered it to Rabbi Jacob. After we were detained David Harari came to see us in prison. He sat with each of us, kissed our hands and said to us: "It is not possible that our governor (Afandina) would kill anyone without obtaining confessions from you. I beg you to refrain from confessing anything so that we may not be killed. If we are killed, "All" of us will be killed. As to the confession of the servant, say that you have no more knowledge other than what he has mentioned."

Muallian Aslan Farhi was summoned to the Governor General Office on Wednesday, Muharram 14, 1256 H. He was asked to tell all he knew regarding the slaying of the Priest Thomas Al-Capuci's servant, including what method was used. Muallim Aslan Farhi tried to deny many times any knowledge of the matter, but then he confessed as follows': "I stayed in the house of His Excellency, the Consul, and was determined not to become involved with this matter. But since His Excellency the Governor General has bestowed upon me an immunity proclamation, I am ready to confess as to what happened. I request from His Excellency, the Governor General to grant me his proclamation order so that I can tell the truth."

The Governor General replied: "It is all right, do not worry, we will grant you safety." And His Excellency gave orders for the proclamation to be written. It was as follows:

To Muallim Aslan Ben Rofael Farhi

In accordance with you request so that you may obtain a Declaration of Safety, we have considered this matter. Our objective is that you submit your confession regarding the subject of the missing servant of the Priest Thomas Al-Capuci about how and what happened to the servant. To secure this Proclamation for your safety requires you to confess frankly and clearly all of what you know regarding the matter at hand. Accordingly, with this reliance on our confidence we have issued our Proclamation to you. It requires of you that you receive and review its contents; to confess all what you know without the slightest reservation or fear. If you confess in this manner, you may be assured from us "God's safety and His witness," also the witness of our master Mohammad, Peace be Upon Him. You need not have any fear or worry. No harm will befall you and no punishment will be awarded, on the condition that you tell the whole truth without contradiction or lies. But if you try to lie after you have obtained this Decree, you will deprive yourself of this protection, and will suffer the consequences. Know this for a fact and rely upon it.

Muharram 14, 1256 H.


As soon as Muallim Aslam ben Rofael received his copy of the safe decree, he set about to put his confession in writing. It included the following: After the sunset call to prayer on Wednesday, the Priest Thomas Al-Capuci disappeared, I stood for about ten minutes with Meyer Farhi in front of his house. The servant of David Harari came and whispered something in Meyer Farhi's ear, then the servant left. I noticed immediately that a confusing look had swept over Meyer Farhi. I asked him: what was the matter? He could not respond outside the house. He knocked on the door and we entered his house. At that time Jacob Abou Al-Afieh and Murad Farhi were strolling and chatting in the alley. Perhaps they were waiting for the arrival of the Priest's servant. I do not know how they managed his arrival. Meyer Farhi and I entered the indoor garden of the house. We walked around in the garden and Meyer told me: "they are planning to slay a Christian." In a very short time there was a knock at the door, and Jacob Al-Afieh and Murad Farhi entered. They were followed shortly afterwards by Joseph Farhi, Aaron Islambouli, and Isaac Picciotto, who enjoys the protection of the Austrian Consulate. We all went to the outside garden, where they were in the process of pinning down to the floor the servant Ibrahim Amarah, over the small hall in the garden. Due to my age, I was not allowed to see the slaying out of fear. I held down one of his feet (but turned my head in order not to witness the slaying), and Isaac Picciotto held the other foot. Murad Farhi did the slaying while the others kept him (the servant) pinned down on the floor. Everyone held him from some part of the body. They drained his blood into a container, I do not recall what the container was. Then emptied it in a white bottle, which I saw in the hand of Jacob Abou Al-Afieh. I do not know who gave it to him, because I was not alert. After that they asked us all to keep the secret. I left and went to my house. I write this confession regarding the case of the above mentioned servant as I know them and submit it to our Afandi (Governor General), the Great Governor, I did not hide anything in this regard after receiving His Excellency's Declaration of Safety in my hand which guarantees that I will not be a object of any interference. I beg of His Excellency to be treated with mercy, and not to be treated for what I have done. The final decision is all His.



Aslan Rofael Farhi