Crime boss gets 13 years in prison

Assi Abutbul also given NIS 500,000 fine for more than 20 counts of extortion against businessmen.

abutbul smiling 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 10 [file])
abutbul smiling 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 10 [file])
The Tel Aviv District Court on Monday sentenced crime boss Assi Abutbul to 13 years in prison for heading a criminal organization. Abutbul additionally received a two-year suspended sentence and a NIS 500,000 fine. The court also sentenced Albert Sitbon, an associate of Abutbul, to 11 years in prison. Abutbul's offenses, which included more than 20 counts of extortion and threats against Israeli businessmen and new immigrants from France, constituted a threat "to society and the state," the judges said. The State Attorney's Office had demanded a 25-year sentence for Abutbul, saying, "The defendant's name was one of the organizations' tools." Two weeks ago, the Tel Aviv District Court convicted Abutbul and four of his henchmen of violating the Fight Against Organized Crime Law, which carries particularly stiff punishments. He was also convicted of a long list of violations of the Criminal Law and the Prohibition on Money Laundering Law. Abutbul was originally represented by Attorney Yoram Chacham, who was mysteriously killed by a bomb planted in his car on June 11, 2008. He was eventually replaced by Nir Plesser and Ya'ir Regev. Dan Izenberg contributed to this report