Abergil bros. arraigned in US federal court in Los Angeles

Yitzhak Abergil reportedly appears in court in street clothes and shackles, seen laughing and yawning before entering innocent plea.

January 14, 2011 19:00
1 minute read.
Abergil group extradition

Abergilnew311. (photo credit: Israeli Police Spokesperson)


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Yitzhak and Meir Abergil were arraigned on murder, money-laundering, extortion drug trafficking charges along with three others in a Los Angeles federal court on Thursday, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The five defendants, who were extradited from their native Israel days earlier, will remain in custody up until their trial after being denied bond because they hold only "limited ties to the community," according to the report.

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Abergil brothers off to LA for trial
Slated Abergil extraditions cap lengthy police effort

Appearing in street clothes and shackles, Yitzhak Abergil declared, "I'm innocent," when entering his plea. The LA Times reported that Abergil was "laughing and yawning" during court proceedings but composed himself when interacting with the judge.

No date has been set for the trial, according to the report.

The defendants left Israel on a US government plane with US Marshalls in a much-publicized and contested extradition process.

Although Meir Abergil fought the extradition tooth and nail during the judicial proceedings in the Jerusalem District Court, his attorney Avi Amiram told The Jerusalem Post that his client was in a good mood and “ready to face the proceedings in the United States.” Ever since the district court approved the extradition, “he has wanted to return to the US to face the matter,” the attorney said.

The 77-page US federal indictment includes 32 charges. Yitzhak Abergil, the leader of the crime family, will face 11 and Meir, the crime family’s money-manager, six.

Dan Izenberg and Ben Hartman contributed to this report.

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