Margalit Tzanani in court311.
(photo credit: Yossi Zeliger)
The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s court on Thursday extended the detention of
Margalit Tzanani for an extra five days.
Police suspect that Tzanani
asked mobsters to extort an unpaid debt from her manager, Assaf
In court on Thursday, police commander attorney Alon Grossman
said that an indictment against Tzanani would be filed at the end of those five
days, as well as a request that the singer remain in custody for the duration of
However, Tzanani’s defense attorney Sassi Gaz argued that he
has not seen details of the charges against the singer, and alleged that Tzanani
did not know why she was being investigated.
“We have not seen the facts,
we don’t know who, when and what the level of extortion was,” said Gaz. “My
client keeps asking me why she is here.”
Tzanani’s defense team also
alleged that the police had misinterpreted wiretapped conversations Tzanani had
made about threatening Atadegi.
However, Grossman said Tzanani had been
told in detail why she is being investigated and also that police investigators
have collected a great deal of evidence against her.
“We know exactly
what she received, or what she was supposed to receive and how she did it, the
date on which the level of threats was raised to extortion, and against whom. We
know everything and it will be in the indictment,” said Grossman.
added that police have very strong evidence that Tzanani used “other criminals”
to extort Atadegi.
“All along the way, [Tzanani] wanted the threats, she
wanted the extortion,” Grossman said.
In ruling to extend Tzanani’s
detention, Judge Ita Nachman said that a review of the investigative material
had satisfied her that there is sufficient evidence that Tzanani carried out the
In two additional hearings on Thursday, the court also
ruled that Michael Hazan and Shalom Domrani, two underworld figures arrested in
connection with the case, would also remain in custody for several more days to
allow police investigations to continue.
Hazan is allegedly an agent of
the Amir Mullner crime family, as is Ofer Amar, another suspect arrested in
connection with the case.
The extension of Hazan’s remand by five days
will allow state prosecutors to file an indictment against him alongside a
request that he remain in detention for the duration of the trial, police
The court also ruled to extend Shalom Domrani’s detention by four
Police suspect that Domrani, who was was arrested on Wednesday, had
been asked by Tzanani to commit extortion and that the singer had connected him
with Michael Hazan, the Amir Mullner crime family agent, in order to extort
Domrani, an organized crime boss, was already under house arrest
in connection with a different offense when he was taken into custody.
the start of the hearing, Domrani asked the court to disqualify Judge Ita
Nachman from hearing the case, because she had previously determined that there
was evidence against him in a different extortion case.
“Does the court
have something personal against me?” he asked.
However, Judge Nachman
dismissed the request, saying that she was not familiar with the suspect and
would rule only according to the evidence before her.
Grossman told the court that since Domrani’s arrest, the investigation had
turned up additional evidence linking him to the offense.
Nachman said in her ruling that the investigation material presented to the
court satisfied her that there is a reasonable suspicion that Domrani is
involved in the alleged offenses.
Although Tzanani has admitted visiting
Domrani in his home several weeks ago, she claimed this was in connection with a
performance she wanted to arrange, reports say.
Another suspect in the
case, Tzanani’s son, Assaf Lavi- Tzanani, was released to house arrest on
Wednesday after police completed their investigations regarding his role in the
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.