Margalit Tzanani in court311.
(photo credit: Yossi Zeliger)
Southern crime boss Shalom Domrani was released to house arrest on Sunday three
days after being arrested on suspicion of being connected to an investigation
into alleged extortion by celebrity singer Margalit Tsanani.
suspect Tsanani of using acquaintances in the organized crime world – members of
an organization headed by alleged mob boss Amir Mullner – to extort and threaten
her music agent, Assaf Atadegi.
The singer, a judge on the hit TV song
contest program Kohav Nolad
(A Star is Born), has denied all suspicions, as the
investigation has continued to pose disturbing questions on the involvement of
organized crime in sections of the music business.
Domrani is viewed by
police as a major underworld kingpin, and law enforcement have kept him under
Last week, police arrested Domrani on suspicion of
assisting Tsanani’s extortion efforts, but he was released after the Lahav 433
Unit was unable to convince state prosecutors that enough evidence existed for a
conviction in court.
Domrani’s attorney, Moshe Sherman, said police were
persecuting his client simply because of his name.
“The name Shalom
Domrani is not a reason for automatic arrest. Proof is needed. If there is no
proof, they should not make arrests,” Sherman said on Sunday, according to
Channel 10 News.
In March, Domrani and seven associates were charged at
the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court with launching an extortion campaign of threats
and arson designed to protect their alleged monopoly over the gas distribution
market in Sderot.
He became the focus of an undercover investigation by
the Economic Crimes Unit and the Lahav 433 Unit after a businessman from Sderot
complained to police that Domrani and his associates had targeted him with
arson, death threats and extortion as part of a bid to dissuade him from opening
a new gas distribution center in Sderot, which would rival the only gas
distribution provider in the area.
Meanwhile, the prosecution is expected
to file an indictment against Tsanani on Monday on charges of extortion and
The prosecution is also expected to request that the court
remand Tsanani in custody for the duration of the case.
Judge Ita Nachman
ruled to extend Tsanani’s detention for a further five days last Thursday as
police investigations continued, but as the singer has no criminal record it is
likely she will be released to house arrest when she appears before the Rishon
Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Monday.