Prominent underworld figure Asi Abutbul was arrested Wednesday along with two suspected accomplices for the 2008 killing of attorney Yoram Hacham.
Abutbul had been arrested in 2015 and suspected of involvement in the car bomb that killed Hacham, but insufficient evidence led to the dropping of charges. However, the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s court had reopened the investigation due to new evidence.
The incriminating information that led to the arrest came from another prisoner who met recently with Abutbul, according to Hebrew media reports. Police have not released the content of that meeting.
Abutbul, who is already in prison for various other convictions, had his remand extended by two weeks on Thursday.
Also appearing in court with Abutbul was Nahshon Gov, who is suspected of planting the bomb in Hacham’s car, as well as a 63-year kindergarten teacher’s assistant whose name has been withheld from the public. Both had their remand extended for 11 days.
Upon entering the courtroom, Abutbul denied the allegations against him. His attorney Avi Cohen asked that the court not make things more difficult for his client since he is already a prisoner. “He underwent a lie-detector test that showed that he was telling the truth,” Cohen added.
Hacham was a widely known mob lawyer and was representing Abutbul in his final case, in which Abutbul was eventually sentenced to 18 years in prison for running a crime syndicate.
Police said the two quarreled after the conviction when Abutbul asked Hacham to return some of the money he had paid him. The mobster claimed that his attorney had not provided adequate defense in court.
On Wednesday, police also reopened a search for the body of criminal Moshe Hadas, which has been missing for 17 years. Investigators believe that Abutbul was involved in his murder as well, and added that new information regarding the location of Hadas’s body was uncovered during the Hacham investigation.