A state witness whose testimony has helped bring down a mob boss from southern Israel, contacted his family Saturday night, a day after he went missing, sparking fears for his life.
Before he checked in with family, police said Saturday night that the witness had most likely left his house on his own volition and blamed the media for distorting the story.
Not long after police sent out that message, the witness gave an interview with Channel 2 in which he said he’s survived three attempts on his life and that “I didn’t believe that after all I’ve done I’d be cast aside like this.”
The witness, a former associate of the gangster he helped bring down, is one of at least 7 state witnesses who have signed deals with the state as part of the “Case 512” investigation.
The case has seen more than 20 organized crime figures indicted in recent months on charges ranging from murder to drug trafficking and money laundering. At the center of the case is the international crime syndicate run by Israeli organized crime boss Yitzhak Abergil.
In January, a man named Shay Bachar was killed by a bomb placed in his car as he drove through Hod Hasharon in central Israel. Not long before his death, Bachar had agreed to testify against mob boss Avi Ruhan and his associates, and was the key witness in the indictment against them.