Abutbul gets 22 months for beating wife

"I am neither a mafia head, nor a wife-beater" he tells court; comes day after cousin gets life for murder.

NOT francois abutbul 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
NOT francois abutbul 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
A day after François Abutbul, the "younger," was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of 18-year-old Ra'anan Levy four years ago, his cousin François Abutbul the "elder" was sentenced to 22 months in prison by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court for assaulting his wife. Abutbul "the elder" reached a plea bargain with the prosecution in which he would admit to beating his wife Yafit, from whom he is separated, in exchange for the lesser sentence of 22 months imprisonment and a six-month suspended sentence. The indictment sheet had included charges of systematic beatings and threats to her life. After the sentence was read, Abutbul addressed the court and criticized the investigation against him, claiming that investigators wanted him in jail at any cost and had convinced his wife to press charges. "I closed a deal because I didn't have a choice," he told the court. "There is something wrong here when the police tell a woman that her husband is garbage. It is important that people know that I am not a mafia head and that I am not a wife-beater. It's true we had problems, but it was because of the police." Abutbul has already served five years in jail for violence and extortion. On Sunday, the same court sentenced François Abutbul "the younger" to life in prison after finding him guilty of the murder of 18-year-old Ra'anan Levy at the Shefayim nightclub on the night of December 18, 2004. The court acquitted his cousin, Avi Abutbul, of the charge of murder for lack of sufficient evidence, but convicted him of conspiracy to commit a crime and grievous assault. A third suspect, Shai Makhlouf, was acquitted altogether for lack of evidence. Dan Izenberg and Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report