State indicts soccer player’s friend for murder

Congo-native charged with murdering Zehava Chikol, throwing her out of hotel window; Maccabi Netanya soccer player not charged.

By
April 22, 2013 11:39
1 minute read.
Twenty-year-old Zehava Chikol who was murdered in Netanya on March 26, 2013

Zehava Chikol 370. (photo credit: Facebook)

The Central District Attorney’s Office submitted an indictment on Monday in the Lod District Court against Eritsia Akalsongo, for the dramatic murder of 20-year-old Zehava Chikol, whose body was thrown half-naked out of a window from the eighth floor of Netanya’s Carmel Hotel on March 26.

Akalsongo is a friend of a foreign Maccabi Netanya FC player, known only as “A.A.” under a gag order. The indictment said that Akalsongo was homeless and, sometime prior to March, asked A.A. if he could stay with him in his room at the hotel. Initially, the professional soccer player was also arrested in connection with the murder, but he was not indicted on Monday.

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Akalsongo, a Congo native, confessed to the crime and reenacted Chikol’s murder for detectives, but may contest his earlier confession, according to prior court proceedings.

According to the indictment, Akalsongo owed Chikol NIS 200. On March 26, the indictment alleges, Chikol confronted Akalsongo about his debt to her and he attempted to evade paying. When Chikol threatened Akalsongo that if he did not pay her, she would open a window and scream that he had raped her, Akalsongo decided to strangle her to death, according to the indictment.

Akalsongo then threw her body out of the window of the room, the indictment said.

The state requested a special procedure for taking A.A.’s testimony on the issue prior to trial, as A.A. plans to leave the country at the end of his current contract with Maccabi Netanya FC in May.

Normally, testimony can only be made once a trial starts, but exceptions are sometimes made such as when the witness may no longer be available to testify in the future.

The state also requested to continue Akalsongo’s detention until the end of the proceedings.

The arraignment is scheduled for May 6 and the detention hearing is scheduled for May 13.

According to prior proceedings, Akalsongo and A.A. denied the charges during initial questioning but later began to implicate one another.


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