Mob boss Domrani indicted for extortion, tilting Netivot elections

The prosecution also filed indictments against Moomi Kasantini and Emanuel Elisha, an aide to Rabbi Yoram Abergil.

crime scene generic 311 (photo credit: Israel Police [illustrative])
crime scene generic 311
(photo credit: Israel Police [illustrative])
The Southern District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment Sunday against alleged crime boss Shalom Domrani on charges including extortion and illegally influencing elections.
According to the indictment in the Beersheba District Court, Domrani threatened Rabbi Ya’acov Ifergan to cease his support of Eyal Masika in the Netivot municipal elections, as part of a conspiracy with Ifergan’s rabbinic rival, Rabbi Yoram Abergil, to advance candidate Yehiel Zohar.
The tension between the two rabbinic camps has led to outbreaks of violence, the indictment said.
The prosecution also filed indictments against Mumi Kasantini and Emanuel Elisha, an aid to Rabbi Yoram Abergil.
Other charges against Domrani in the indictment included conspiracy to commit a felony and obstruction of justice.
The indictment stated that on municipal election day, October 22, after a brief meeting with Rabbi Abergil, Elisha told Domrani to threaten Ifergan’s followers with violent reprisals should they continue to actively campaign for Masika.
Following this interaction, Domrani allegedly called Ifergan’s wife to find out where he was and asked her to tell Ifergan to meet with him immediately.
Next, Domrani and Kasantini visited Ifergan’s educational institution and threatened him and his followers severely enough to cause Ifergan to fear for his and his family’s life and to hire armed bodyguards, the indictment said.
The indictment said that Domrani told Ifergan he was visiting him because he heard that he was “harming Rabbi Abergil,” and that “there are ways to deal with this.” Domrani allegedly said that if Ifergan stopped “harming Rabbi Abergil,” the alleged mob boss “would protect” him.
According to the indictment, Ifergan was so frightened that he even prayed for Zohar to be elected instead of Masika, and he and his followers stopped actively campaigning for their preferred candidate.
Next, Domrani allegedly threatened Rabbi Baruch Abuhatzeira, another supporter of Masika, who also stopped campaigning for Masika out of fear for his life.
Domrani also called Ifergan’s wife again, noted the indictment, and told her to tell her husband that if asked about meeting with him, Ifergan should tell people that he merely came to make peace and to receive the rabbi’s blessing.
Last week, the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court ordered Domrani released pending his indictment, but the Lod District Court reversed the ruling on Thursday, and Domrani remained in custody.
A final hearing on whether Domrani and his associates will be held in custody until the end of the trial is set for Thursday, with the start of the trial set for December 11.
Ben Hartman contributed to this story.