Mobster Domrani released to house arrest

Southern crime boss Shalom Domrani set free after cops fail to show link with Margalit Tsanani extortion case.

August 29, 2011 07:20
2 minute read.
Margalit Tzanani in court

Margalit Tzanani in court311. (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger)


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Southern crime boss Shalom Domrani was released to house arrest on Sunday three days after being arrested on suspicion of being connected to an investigation into alleged extortion by celebrity singer Margalit Tsanani.

Police suspect Tsanani of using acquaintances in the organized crime world – members of an organization headed by alleged mob boss Amir Mullner – to extort and threaten her music agent, Assaf Atadegi.

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The singer, a judge on the hit TV song contest program Kohav Nolad (A Star is Born), has denied all suspicions, as the investigation has continued to pose disturbing questions on the involvement of organized crime in sections of the music business.

Domrani is viewed by police as a major underworld kingpin, and law enforcement have kept him under close observation.

Last week, police arrested Domrani on suspicion of assisting Tsanani’s extortion efforts, but he was released after the Lahav 433 Unit was unable to convince state prosecutors that enough evidence existed for a conviction in court.

Domrani’s attorney, Moshe Sherman, said police were persecuting his client simply because of his name.

“The name Shalom Domrani is not a reason for automatic arrest. Proof is needed. If there is no proof, they should not make arrests,” Sherman said on Sunday, according to Channel 10 News.

In March, Domrani and seven associates were charged at the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court with launching an extortion campaign of threats and arson designed to protect their alleged monopoly over the gas distribution market in Sderot.

He became the focus of an undercover investigation by the Economic Crimes Unit and the Lahav 433 Unit after a businessman from Sderot complained to police that Domrani and his associates had targeted him with arson, death threats and extortion as part of a bid to dissuade him from opening a new gas distribution center in Sderot, which would rival the only gas distribution provider in the area.

Meanwhile, the prosecution is expected to file an indictment against Tsanani on Monday on charges of extortion and conspiracy.

The prosecution is also expected to request that the court remand Tsanani in custody for the duration of the case.

Judge Ita Nachman ruled to extend Tsanani’s detention for a further five days last Thursday as police investigations continued, but as the singer has no criminal record it is likely she will be released to house arrest when she appears before the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

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