(photo credit: Israeli Police Spokesperson)
Yitzhak and Meir Abergil were arraigned on murder, money-laundering, extortion drug trafficking charges along with three others in a Los Angeles federal court on Thursday, The Los Angeles Times reported.
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The five defendants, who were extradited from their native Israel days earlier, will remain in custody up until their trial after being denied bond because they hold only "limited ties to the community," according to the report.
Appearing in street clothes and shackles, Yitzhak Abergil declared, "I'm innocent," when entering his plea. The LA Times
reported that Abergil was "laughing and yawning" during court proceedings but composed himself when interacting with the judge.
No date has been set for the trial, according to the report.
The defendants left Israel on a US government plane with US Marshalls in a much-publicized and contested extradition process.
Although Meir Abergil fought the extradition tooth and nail during the
judicial proceedings in the Jerusalem District Court, his attorney Avi
Amiram told The Jerusalem Post
that his client was in a good mood and “ready to face the proceedings in
the United States.” Ever since the district court approved the
extradition, “he has wanted to return to the US to face the matter,” the
The 77-page US federal indictment includes 32 charges. Yitzhak Abergil,
the leader of the crime family, will face 11 and Meir, the crime
family’s money-manager, six.Dan Izenberg and Ben Hartman contributed to this report.