Murder raises questions over Israeli immigration

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2009

It took the police only six days to crack Israel’s most vicious murder, but despite the arrest of the alleged killer and his detailed confession, the case has raised serious questions about the country’s immigration policy.

Damian Karlik is suspected of stabbing and decapitating six members of the Oshrenko family, including two young children, in a four-hour killing spree in their Rishon Lezion flat three weeks ago. Karlik was arrested six days later, just before crossing over to Egypt at the Taba border, and after police questioning admitted to the murders. His wife and other family members were also arrested.

Karlik was the maitre d’ at a restaurant owned by the Oshrenko family but was fired two years ago, after the father, Dimitry Oshrenko, accused him of stealing vodka. His lawyer subsequently claimed that Karlik was innocent and the confession had been obtained by illegal pressure.

As details of Karlik’s past began to emerge, questions were raised about the immigrations process. Karlik made aliyah in 2004 despite being charged with armed robbery in Russia. “The sad fact is that we don’t have any way of knowing whether an aliyah candidate has a criminal record,” said a senior Interior Ministry official.

Last updated: 4:42pm, November 5 2009