Five years after the court deemed evidence against Avi Abutbul in the murder of Ra'anan Levy insufficient, the Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday sentenced him to six years in prison for his involvement in the murder.
The case was reopened after his cousin, Francois Abutbul, who was charged two months ago with Ra'anan's murder and given a life sentence, appealed to the court.
While there was no shortage of evidence regarding Francois's involvement in the case, Avi was another matter - until Tuesday. In the verdict, the judges wrote that they "cannot ignore the major role the accused [Avi Abutbul] played in the incident, him being the one who drove the jeep and blocked Levy's path. He enabled Francois to get out of the car and stab the deceased to death."
Levy was murdered in December 2004 during a brawl outside a nightclub in the Shefayim area. A quarrel between youths from Rishon Lezion and Netanya heated up when Amir Abutbul, of the powerful Netanya crime family, called his older brother Avi for backup. The youths from Rishon Lezion began to walk away, but the Abutbuls, who were driving a car, trapped Levy, who had fallen behind his friends.
While Levy hung onto the jeep's bull bar, shouting that "It wasn't me," Francois walked out of the car and stabbed him several times. "Francois used a knife with a lethal blade, which was not at all necessary for him to defend himself. He stabbed Ra'anan Levy three times and the number of wounds points to the fact that he was persistent in his decision to cause harm," commented the judges.
Dan Izenberg And Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report
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