Alleged mobsters get off lightly

Judge blames police negligence for acquittal of suspected Abergil associates in R. Gan shootout.

October 5, 2008 12:44
1 minute read.
Alleged mobsters get off lightly

Itzik Abergil 224.88. (photo credit: Channel 10)


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The Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday acquitted two suspected associates of the alleged Abergil crime family of grievous bodily harm for their part in a Ramat Gan shootout in which police officer Ronen Almog was seriously wounded and an assailant killed. Instead, the two men, Amir Sanker and Eitan Gerella, were merely convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime, illegally carrying a weapon and intentionally endangering human life. The judge said that the police acted negligently. "I believe I must criticize the police for the way in which they operated. It took an hour for them to seal off the area, they didn't collect all the evidence from the crime scene and allowed people to enter the area, making it extremely difficult for forensics to carry out their work," he said. In the indictment, it had been claimed that the two men were associates of the Abergil mob that was in a long-running feud with the rival Alperon family. The charge sheet had claimed that the suspects planned to kill Nissim Alperon, brother of suspected mob boss Ya'acov Alperon in retaliation for an attack on Itzik Abergil said to be carried out by the Alperons five months earlier. Police said they had received intelligence information that the assassination was to take place and stationed forces in the area prior to the gunfight. Members of the International and Serious Crimes Unit (ISCU) who were operating in the area noticed a suspicious vehicle carrying three passengers driving around Rehov Rokah. Police attempted to stop the vehicle, but after the vehicle stopped moving, one of the three suspects jumped out of the car and opened fire in the direction of the police officers. Police sources emphasized that the officers were wearing hats identifying them as police officers and said they identified themselves clearly as such to the suspects. One of the police officers was wounded during the shoot-out and was evacuated in moderate condition to Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital. The police officers returned fire toward the suspects and mortally wounded the shooter, 21-year-old Jerusalem resident Avishai Balker. Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.

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