(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The prominent Tel Aviv real estate lawyer arrested last month on suspicion of
hiring a Jaffa-based mob to carry out a series of assassinations and arson
attacks was charged at the Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday.
Finkelstein is suspected of paying hundreds of thousands of shekels to seven
alleged Jaffa mobsters to bomb the Scientology Center building in Jaffa for
financial gain. When the plot, involving a truck filled with gas canisters and
300 liters of gasoline failed, the men were ordered to set the building on fire.
That attempt resulted in failure as well.
Finkelstein is also suspected
of sending the men on failed bids to kill a senior Tel Aviv Municipality
official, Sota Hovel, who had disrupted his financial plans for the Scientology
According to the charge sheet, Finkelstein ordered his hired
guns to place a bomb under Hovel’s car. It exploded last year in Bat Yam,
damaging the vehicle but failing to harm Hovel. In a second assassination
attempt, the suspects allegedly dressed up as policemen and attempted to kill
Hovel with an electric stun gun. Hovel escaped with minor injuries.
indictment said Finkelstein also sent the men to murder his ex-wife and her
partner, Daniel Cohen, in Haifa. Those assassination attempts, which involved a
bomb planted in the partner’s car, failed. The device went off as the partner
and his daughter were in the vehicle.
Cohen was wounded and his daughter
went into shock.
Finkelstein has denied the suspicions against him.