(photo credit: INIMAGE)
A state witness was reportedly at meetings where underworld figures planned a hit on top mob boss Ze’ev Rosenstein, it emerged in court on Monday.
During a remand hearing for one of the most senior organized crime figures arrested in Case 512, a lawyer for the defendant related how his client was brought by police to a confrontation with one of the state witnesses, who said he was present at two meetings where the would-be killers of Rosenstein planned how to eliminate him.
Those alleged meetings – held at a hotel and at the home of one of the defendants – came not long before the December 2003 bombing in Tel Aviv that targeted Rosenstein. The mob boss emerged unscathed from the bombing, which killed three bystanders.
During the hearing on Monday, it emerged that there are two additional underworld figures who have signed deals to turn state witness as part of Case 512, the sprawling organized crime investigation that has seen dozens of underworld figures since late May, on a series of crimes including murder, drug trafficking, conspiracy, money laundering and more.
Many of the crimes – including murders and attempted murders – are from around a decade ago, when the crime family led by Yitzhak Abergil was on top of the Israeli criminal world and waging a war against Rosenstein and other rivals.
The two additional witnesses bring the total to at least six witnesses in the case, all of them underworld figures, including a senior Abergil family associate and internationally- known drug trafficker who is believed to have played a key role in planning the December 2003 bombing.
The revelation that the two additional suspects had become witnesses was brought up in a separate hearing on Monday as representing a possible conflict of interest, in that their lawyer is also representing one of the mob bosses they are expected to testify against.
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