Police said to obtain new evidence in 2009 gay youth club murders

Criminal reportedly claims to have evidence on identity of gunman who murdered two, wounded 10 in rampage at Tel Aviv’s Bar Noar center

Thousands attend a ceremony to mark nine years since the 2009 shooting at the Bar Noar LGBT center, in Tel Aviv on August 11, 2018. (Flash90)
Thousands attend a ceremony to mark nine years since the 2009 shooting at the Bar Noar LGBT center, in Tel Aviv on August 11, 2018. (Flash90)

New evidence may have come to light in an unsolved shooting rampage at an LGBT youth club in Tel Aviv a decade ago.

Two people were killed and 11 injured in the attack at the Bar Noar center, sparking the most expansive and expensive investigation in Israel Police history. Despite the effort police have yet to figure out who committed the crime, or why.

According to an Army Radio report Sunday, a “known criminal” arrived at a Tel Aviv police station last week offering information on the identity and motive of the alleged killer in exchange for cash and other benefits.

It is not immediately clear if police accepted the offer, but the man was questioned for several hours by investigators, the report said, and police have begun looking into his claims.

Hagai Felician, who in 2013 was declared a suspect in the deadly 2009 Bar Noar shooting in Tel Aviv, but whose case was dropped after a key witness against him was determined to have lied. (Flash90)

A masked, black-clad gunman entered the gay youth club on Saturday night, August 1, 2009, and opened fire, killing Liz Trobishi, 16, and Nir Katz, 29.

Ten others were wounded, including two who were left permanently disabled.

In July 2013, based on testimony from a state’s witness, Tarlan Hankishayev, police indicted Hagai Felician for the murders. He was held in detention for the next eight months as the indictment and investigation against him progressed.

But the case unraveled when police concluded the testimony of the state’s witness was false.

Tarlan Hankishayev, center, the former state witness in the 2009 shooting attack at the Bar Noar gay youth club in Tel Aviv, at the Tel Aviv District Court on May 20, 2015. (Roy Alima/Flash90)

The charges against Felician were dropped and he was awarded NIS 2.2 million (roughly $580,000 at the time) in damages after suing the state.

He cannot be tried a second time, even if new evidence surfaces tying him to the case.

Prosecutors then filed an indictment against the state’s witness on charges of obstruction of justice and giving false testimony.

Felician’s brother Moti said at the time that he believed that the witness was himself the one who sent the murderer to the club.

A man mourns the dead in the Bar Noar shooting in Tel Aviv, August 2, 2009. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

“He knows exactly who the murderer is,” Moti Felician said. “He caught an innocent victim and proof of that is that ultimately they didn’t believe him.”

Authorities have questioned over 1,000 people in the case over the years.

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