Alleged mobster Mulner charged with conspiracy to commit crime

Senior mob figure Amir Mulner, who is a prime suspect in November's car bomb assassination of mafia chief Ya'acov Alperon, was charged by Tel Aviv District prosecutors on Wednesday with possession of a gun and a silencer, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Last month, shortly after Alperon's death, Mulner, an explosives expert, was arrested along with 16 other suspects during a police raid on a Ramat Gan apartment. On Wednesday, the Tel Aviv state prosecutors, represented by lawyer Yossi Kurtzberg, charged Mulner and nine other suspects - including the apartment's owner, Eli Reuven - with four criminal offenses and requested that the court keep the suspects in custody until the end of legal proceedings. "There is no need to add a thing on the danger posed by criminals' possession of a loaded gun with a silencer," prosecutors told the court during their request to keep Mulner and his associates in custody, adding that the "defendants intended to use the gun in a lethal manner, which is the only possible explanation for assembling a silencer on the barrel." Prosecutors asked the court to "do all that can be done to protect the public from this danger," adding that the possession of the gun and silencer showed "apathy toward the possibility of harming lives, as has happened on a number of occasions in recent years, when the lives of bystanders were cut short in criminal attacks - strengthening the realization of the level of danger posed by these defendants, which remains high." The charge sheet described how Mulner and the remaining suspects had conspired to meet at Reuven's home and to hide a semi-automatic 7.65-mm. Baretta gun loaded with eight bullets, as well as the silencer and 11 additional bullets, in an area behind the apartment. The sheet detailed how Reuven and other suspects had used a jerry can to hide the firearm after wiping it with a towel. The indictment stressed that all of the suspects had been aware of the weapon's presence and the efforts of some of the men in the apartment to hide it. "The conspirators hid the gun... with an intention to commit a crime or injustice or to allow someone else to carry out a crime or injustice," the charge sheet stated. It did not identify the intended victim of the criminal conspiracy. Last week, police launched a determined court battle to keep Mulner in custody, convincing a Tel Aviv District Court to overturn a decision by a Tel Aviv magistrate to release Mulner to house arrest.