Margalit Tzanani in court311.
(photo credit: Yossi Zeliger)
As police continue to investigate what has been dubbed the “Margalit Affair,”
the Central District Court rejected on Sunday an appeal by Assaf Lavi- Tzanani
against last week’s lower court decision to extend his
Lavi-Tzanani was arrested alongside his mother, popular singer
Margalit Tzanani, and three others, including music producer Yossi Ben David,
who is suspected of linking Margalit Tzanani with the underworld.
arrested and remanded were Michael Hazan and Ofer Amar, both allegedly members
of the Amir Mullner crime family.
Ben David has since been released to
house arrest, but the other four suspects, including Margalit Tzanani, remain in
custody as police investigations into the affair continue.
that Tzanani asked mobsters from the Mullner crime family to collect an unpaid
debt from her manager, Assaf Atagadi, and have also expressed concerns about the
extent to which criminal elements have infiltrated the entertainment
The Petah Tikva Magistrate’s court had ruled to extend Lavi-
Tzanani’s remand for nine days on grounds that he might obstruct the ongoing
investigation into the affair.
In Sunday’s hearing, Lavi- Tzanani’s
lawyer Shahar Hatzroni told the court that it was a “mistake to try to connect
Lavi Tzanani in the same breath with [Hazan and Amar],” and in any case would
not be able to interfere with the ongoing investigation if he were released to
However, in rejecting the appeal, Judge Ruth Lorch ruled
that since Lavi-Tzanani was remanded in custody there have been new developments
in the investigation that support claims that he was involved in the alleged
In a separate hearing in the Central District Court on Sunday,
Judge Lorch also rejected an appeal by Michael Hazan and Amir Ofar, the two
others remanded in connection with the case.
Judge Lorch said her
decision to reject the appeal against Hazan’s and Ofar’s extended remand was
partly based on her review of the new investigative material added since last
week’s lower court hearings.
Hazan and Ofar have denied their involvement
in the affair and said they were only socially acquainted with
Their lawyer, Tamir Sananas, told the court on Sunday that Hazan
had still not been informed what he had done.
“Is Hazan accused of
anything else apart from extortion?,” Sananas asked. “I need to know the answer
so that I can defend him in court.”
He also told the court that he had
seen a television interview with Tzanani’s manager, Assaf Atagadi, in which he
had claimed he had not been extorted.
However, Sananas said that after
reviewing the investigation materials – particularly the new information added
after last week’s court hearings – he would accept the District Court’s
recommendation to retract the appeal against Hazan’s and Ofar’s
remand.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.