zeev rosenstein 248 88.
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The Nazareth District Court approved on Sunday a plea bargain between the state
and convicted crime boss Ze’ev Rosenstein for his role in the killing of three
criminal rivals on a Kinneret beach in 2001.
Rosenstein pleaded guilty to
the charge of conspiracy to commit a felony, and in exchange the district
attorney for the northern district dropped the indictment clause charging him
with ordering the hit.
According to the deal, Rosenstein will serve five
years in prison in addition to the 12 years he is already serving for an
American conviction for Ecstasy trafficking.
Rosenstein was extradited to
the US in 2006, and was returned to Israel in 2007 to serve his first
Rosenstein was initially linked to the three murders by a
suspect arrested in September 2009 during a massive police raid on a cocaine
One man arrested in the raid, who became a state witness,
told police Rosenstein had ordered the murders of underworld figures Rafi
Weitzman, David Ben-Mergi and Sharon Musawi, in revenge for their attempt to
have Rosenstein killed in 1996. Later, a second state witness, a man also said
to belong to the criminal underworld, linked Rosenstein to the murders, claiming
the kingpin had paid $100,000 for the hit.
Guy Weberman, who is
considered to have been Rosenstein’s lieutenant, was also convicted of the same
charges as a result of the plea bargain. In his case, the prosecution asked for
a three-year sentence to be added to the two life sentences he is currently
Shalva Levine, from the Nazareth DA’s office, said that the plea
bargain was reached because of the lack of hard evidence linking Rosenstein with
the crime. She said that much of the testimonies were old and the evidence
difficult to obtain, and that there was also evidence that the killers had
independent motives to kill the victims.
Both sides asked the judges,
David Cheshin, Avraham Avraham and Yonatan Avraham, to approve the plea bargain
and the recommended sentencing, noting that the decision had been reached in
consultation with the state attorney.
In the pleas for sentencing,
Rosenstein’s lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, asked the court to take into account
Rosenstein’s age – he will be 70 at the time of his scheduled release – and the
fact that he had left the life of crime a decade ago.
approved the plea bargain and convicted the two men of the conspiracy charges
and their sentencing as agreed on by the lawyers.