Top Israeli mob boss indicted for two murders

Asi Abutbol is accused in deaths of his lawyer and prospective hit man.

August 29, 2017 17:48
2 minute read.
Top Israeli mob boss Asi Abutbol indicted for two murders

Top Israeli mob boss Asi Abutbol indicted for two murders, Augut 29, 2017.. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)


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Crime boss Asi Abutbol was indicted on Tuesday for the murder of his former attorney in 2008 and another man whom he wanted to carry out an assassination in 1999.

Abutbol is already serving a 17-year sentence for running a criminal organization.

According to the indictment presented on Tuesday to the Central District Court, Abutbul killed attorney Yoram Chacham, who was representing him in his trial for running his crime family.

Chaham had also represented a number of other well-known underworld figures including Yossi Hariri and Aryeh Alperon.

Abutbul did not believe Chacham, a 53-year-old father of four, was working effectively on the trial and so fired him in March 2008, but then hired him back the next day having ostensibly reconciled with him.

But despite rehiring Chacham, Abutbul had in fact remained dissatisfied with his attorney, in particular over the speedy pace of the trial and with his conduct of negotiations for a plea bargain, and decided to kill him, the indictment states.

It is alleged that from prison Abutbul then arranged for a bomb to be placed on Chacham’s vehicle.

On the night of June 11, 2008, Chacham was driving on Yigal Alon Street near the Nokia stadium in Tel Aviv when a bomb exploded inside his SUV. He died at the scene. Police believe the blast was detonated remotely, possibly by assailants who were following the attorney.

In the late 1990s, Abutbul was in conflict with another criminal boss, Alon Giladi.

In 1999, Abutbul alleged turned to a man named Arthur Rosen and asked him to kill Giladi in return for a substantial payment, but the two failed to come to an agreement, leading Abutbul to a decision to kill Rosen.

On November 23, 1999, Abutbul met with Rosen together with another man and drove with him on the Coastal Road toward Caesarea. The car stopped at one stage and Abutbul and Rosen got out with Abutbul allegedly shooting Rosen in the back of the neck and in the chest and then returning to the car and droving off.

Rosen survived the initial shooting, and returned to the main road to get help and walked out onto the highway, where he was run over by another vehicle. The indictment said that Rosen died from blood loss caused by the gunshots.

The Abutbul family ran one of the most powerful criminal organizations in Israel a little over a decade ago, though its prominence began to fade after patriarch Felix – Asi’s father – was murdered in 2002 outside a casino he ran in Prague.

The family suffered other setbacks in 2011 when Asi’s brother Francois Abutbul was murdered and a year ago with the suicide of Felix’s brother Charlie at his Netanya apartment.

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