Authorities on Monday announced they were closing a probe into the death of a diamond firm employee amid a criminal probe into the company’s dealings, saying there was no evidence of foul play.
In November Mazal Hadadi fell to her death from the 10th floor of the Diamond Exchange Building in Ramat Gan, after being questioned in the investigation, leading to accusations by her husband that she may have been killed.
But the state prosecution said Monday an investigation had yielded no evidence of criminal involvement in Hadadi’s death. The prosecution said it would not go into details due to privacy concerns, and added it had informed Hadadi’s family of the decision.
Sources involved in the investigation told Channel 13 news there had been several clear indications that Hadadi’s death was a suicide.
They cited the fact that prior to her death she had searched several times for the word “death” online, footage they said shows her entering the room from which she fell unaccompanied, and testimonies that she had been distant and behaved oddly in the days prior to her death.
They also ruled out claims that Hadadi had received a phone call shortly before her fall telling her she was urgently required back at the office.
In a press conference Hadadi’s husband Kobi attacked the decision, claiming officials had failed to address many concerns in their determination that her death was a suicide. “I’ve had many questions from the first moment…I asked questions and I didn’t get answers. One investigator looked at the other and I didn’t get anything.”
He insisted the couple had “so many plans. No reason could have made her do such a thing.”
Hadadi has previously said his wife left work, and ran into a friend, who said she seemed “normal and was heading home.” After that, she returned to work and plunged from the building.
Family attorney Sassi Gez alleged that police had decided early on that Hadadi’s case was a suicide and had failed to properly investigate the possibility of foul play.
“I don’t suspect the prosecution and police of ulterior motives, but they didn’t investigate this professionally… people need to understand, one can’t reach that window alone. And it’s certainly hard to jump from it without someone pushing you.” He added: “I couldn’t even reach the window. It’s a very small window.
“A person committing suicide doesn’t take her bag with her, and it would certainly be difficult to go through the window with the bag,” he added.
The alleged suicide has also shone a critical light on investigators looking into allegations of diamond smuggling by the firm, LLD, owned by Russian-Israeli mogul Lev Leviev, with reports indicating that Hadadi, 42, had been pressured by police despite her relatively junior role at the company.
After the alleged suicide, LLD claimed it had information suggesting that investigators had subjected Hadadi to severe pressure and threats that caused her serious mental distress, Hadashot news has reported.
In a letter, the company charged that an investigator had called her just half an hour before she was found on the sidewalk beneath her office window.
Kobi Hadadi has also lashed out at police for putting undue pressure on her. He’s told the Kan public broadcaster in the past that police had also called and yelled at him about his wife’s predicament.
“The investigator called me and began to yell so she would hear, that she is going to jail and she needs a lawyer. He said it six or seven times,” he said. He described her as “broken” after the interrogation.
According to Hadashot, the decision to call the husband only came after Hadadi broke down in tears during her questioning by investigators from the Lahav 433 anti-fraud unit, and refused their suggestion of a lawyer.
Sources close to the investigation have said, “Any attempt by interested parties to link the tragic case to the professional management of the investigation suggests a lack of familiarity with the facts and is likely to mislead the public.”
Leviev has found his business empire in jeopardy after close associates were busted in connection with a smuggling operation that allegedly brought hundreds of millions of shekels’ worth of diamonds into Israel hidden in suitcases.
Police have demanded Leviev return to Israel for questioning on allegations of smuggling, money laundering, and tax offenses.
The alleged smuggling case was cracked with the aid of one of the suspects who turned state witness after he was stopped months ago at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport carrying a diamond worth NIS 1 million ($270,000), the Globes website reported.
Born in the then-Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, Leviev moved to Israel at age 15 but has lived in London for much of the past decade. He is a major supporter of many Jewish causes, including Chabad-Lubavitch, the Hasidic sect that focuses on outreach to Jews around the world.