Media ban lifted in Netanya 'underworld slaying'

Arthur Matayab, stabbed in the back outside of the Ikea in April, was part of power struggle over illegal casino in Netanya.

crime scene police murder holon 248 88 (photo credit: Israel Police)
crime scene police murder holon 248 88
(photo credit: Israel Police)
New details emerged on Wednesday in the slaying of a man in what police are describing as a power struggle over an illegal casino in Netanya's industrial zone. Arthur Matayab, who had a record of past criminal activity, was stabbed in the back outside of the Ikea furniture outlet in the industrial zone on April 14. A little over two weeks later, 28-year-old Shai Shirazi was arrested after police linked him to the killing, while his father, Rico, described by police as a major Netanya underworld player, was arrested for allegedly abetting the murder. Rico Shirazi was released a few days after his arrest. During a remand hearing for the suspects on Wednesday, police asked the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court to lift a media ban on the case. The hearing revealed that in addition to the two Shirazis, three suspects had been arrested for alleged involvement in the killing. Police have so far refused to name the man they believe carried out the stabbing. Police suspect the victim entered a casino in Netanya's industrial zone with a number of accomplices, and began removing computers from the building. The men were then allegedly confronted by Shai Shirazi and the three other suspects, leading to the stabbing. The suspects' remand was extended by eight days on Wednesday. Police said video footage from a CCTV camera in the area showed one of the suspects as having been in the area close to the time of the murder, but have not been able to make the video available. Lawyers for the suspects have dismissed the charges, saying police lack any substantial evidence to back up the case. According to the lawyers, a fight broke out between Matayab and the suspects, and Shai Shirazi sustained stab wounds during the struggle that ensued. The attorneys have denied that the killing was premeditated. During the hearing, Judge Aharon D. Golds was shown confidential documents by the police representative to the court, and accepted the police's arguments that evidence existed to tie the suspects to the charges. "The evidence shown to me demonstrates that the suspects are tied to the said offenses. There is enough to justify continued custody, both due to the risk posed [by releasing them] and the need to prevent a subversion of the investigation," Golds ruled.