(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Finkelstein, who was being held in prison during his trial on charges
that he hired hit men to kill several people, was charged on Thursday of
obstruction of justice for trying to order a hit against a state witness.
along with his father Yithak, who was also charged, allegedly tried to hire an
undercover policeman to carry out the hit, according to the report. The two were arrested by police and the Prison Service in a covert operation.
TA lawyer charged with paying mob in Scientology bomb plot
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The attorney was already accused by police in May of ordering several failed
bombings and arson attempts when he was rearrested in the Sharon Prison a few weeks ago.
Finkelstein was first arrested in May on suspicion of hiring a Jaffa-based mob
to bomb the Scientology Center building there, for financial
Immediately before his arrest on Saturday night, Yitzhak
Finkelstein allegedly transferred cash to a undercover police agent, which
police suspect was intended to pay for the hit on the state witness.
his ruling, Judge Eran Kotton of the Haifa Magistrate’s Court wrote that there
were reasonable grounds for extending Finkelstein’s custody.
court also ruled that Yitzhak Finkelstein will remain in custody until July
His attorney, Avi Himi, protested the extension of custody, and told
the court that Yitzhak had acted as a messenger and as the “right hand” for his
son since his arrest three months ago, receiving funds from his son on several
“That does not mean that [Yitzhak] knew anything or even part
of anything of any plans that were developed inside the prison,” Himi
“About the meeting that took place yesterday [between Yitzhak
Finkelstein and the undercover officer], the undercover agent raised all kinds
of topics because he knew he was recording [Finkelstein’s] father... It does not
mean that the father knew about anything specific,” Himi said.
the court to send Finkelstein for a psychiatric examination. The court
When the alleged plot to bomb the Scientology Center, involving
a truck filled with gas canisters and 300 liters of gasoline, failed, the men
were ordered to set the building on fire, police said. That alleged attempt
ended in failure as well.
He allegedly ordered the mobsters to harm Shota
Hovel, the head of the construction oversight department at the Tel Aviv
Municipality, following Hovel’s decision to knock down the building in Jaffa
owned by Scientologists due to violations of building
Finkelstein allegedly had a financial interest in preventing
the building from being demolished, and was behind the May 9 attempt to detonate
a car bomb under Hovel’s car in Bat Yam. Hovel escaped from the incident
unharmed, but the vehicle was damaged.
In a subsequent assassination
attempt, three men dressed as police officers stopped Hovel in his car and tried
to attack him with an electric shocker. That attack failed, too, and the
attackers fled. Hovel was lightly wounded.
concluded that it would be most profitable for him to arrange for the building
to be rebuilt elsewhere, police suspect, as he received a commission from
contractors behind the construction.
He is also suspected of sending men
to kill his ex-wife’s partner.