'Topaz set up firm to track TV celebs'

Details emerge of probe into entertainer suspected of ordering assaults on media personalities.

dudu topaz 248 88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
dudu topaz 248 88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Dudu Topaz allegedly set up a large private detective company in order to gather information on television show presenters Tzvika Hadar, Erez Tal and Avri Gilad, it emerged from the probe of the entertainer arrested earlier this week on charges of ordering assaults on three other senior media personalities. Police said Thursday that Topaz had planned on sending hired goons to assault at least three more popular television show presenters and that Hadar, Tal and Gilad were allegedly on his hit list. Israel Radio reported Friday that the firm allegedly got information on the three presenters' schedules and supplied Topaz with detailed reports. Police said that the company's employees would soon be questioned, but that it was still unclear whether they knew of Topaz's intentions. Police learned of the additional names from an interrogation of Topaz's neighbor, Daniel Zanko, who police say acted as the go-between linking Topaz to the bouncers who were paid tens of thousands of shekels to carry out the attacks. Detectives have also said that they have been able to link a number of the bouncers to the assault of Shira Margalit, deputy director-general of Reshet television. Avi Nir, director-general of the Keshet network, and acting agent Boaz Zion have also been the victims of previously unexplained attacks by groups of men. Police also believe Topaz planned on attacking Amos Regev, editor of the Yisrael Hayom newspaper. Topaz is recovering at the Wolfson Hospital in Holon after attempting to commit suicide with an insulin overdose in the early hours of Thursday morning. A warden on patrol at the Abu Kabir prison facility found Topaz unconscious. An ambulance then rushed him to the hospital, where he was listed in good condition. Doctors said Topaz, 62, who is diabetic, had injected himself with a large dose of insulin in a failed suicide bid. They added that the amount of insulin Topaz had injected had the potential to induce a life-threatening change in the blood sugar level, and could have caused irreparable brain damage.