'Topaz was the head of the pyramid'

Judge says concrete material ties leading Israeli television entertainer to attacks on media executives.

dudu topaz 248 88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
dudu topaz 248 88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court remanded celebrity TV entertainer Dudu Topaz by eight days on Monday, a day after he was arrested on suspicion of sending two men to assault television executives and an actor's agent who had rejected his proposals for new television programs. Judge Zion Kapah, who presided over the hearing, described Topaz as "the head of the pyramid, the planner and initiator," adding that "solid evidence" existed against the former TV host and actor. Topaz participated in the hearing via video link from the Abu Kabir prison facility in Tel Aviv after Judge Kapah had approved his request. The custody of Daniel Zanko, who is Topaz's neighbor, was also extended by Kapah for four days. Zanko is suspected by police of acting as a go-between for Topaz, putting him in touch with the two former security guards who allegedly carried out the assaults. Shira Margalit, deputy director-general of the Reshet television network, Avi Nir, director-general of the Keshet network and acting agent Boaz Ben-Zion have all been the victims of previously unexplained attacks by groups of men. Police believe Topaz asked Zanko to help him carry out the attacks, who complied by hiring two men, both of whom are currently under arrest. Police also said Topaz had planned an attack on Amos Regev, editor of the Yisrael Hayom newspaper, who had turned down Topaz's offer to write a column.