Entertainer Dudu Topaz is suspected of planning to assault his ex-wife and her husband, police said yesterday. Topaz was remanded to police custody last week on suspicion of ordering assaults on three media executives in recent months.
On Saturday police said they learned that Topaz had conspired with his neighbor Daniel Zenko to attack his ex-wife Roni Hen. Topaz confessed that he had asked Zenko to follow Hen and determine likely opportunities for assaulting her as well as her current husband, as he had done for the attacks on Avi Nir, Shira Margalit and Boaz Ben Zion.
The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court yesterday extended Topaz's remand by another week, after police said the probe had taken a dramatic turn on Sunday night and submitted a confidential report to the court.
Channel 10 news reported yesterday that Topaz had put his own name on the hit list, in order to divert suspicion from himself. Topaz told investigators Saturday that after the attack on Keshet cable television chief executive Avi Nir, he asked his housekeeper to write letters to Nir threatening a second assault unless he paid a sum of money.
The housekeeper, who admitted under police questioning that she had written the letters, was released with restrictions.
Topaz's court appearance yesterday was via a video connection. He looked tired and at one point complained that he wasn't feeling well. He asked for a glass of water and held his hand on his chest for several minutes. Topaz was briefly hospitalized last week after attempting suicide by taking an overdose of the insulin he uses to control his diabetes.
Police representatative Kobi Gattegno told Judge Dan Mor during the remand hearing that "Topaz's release is dangerous to the public and may be used to subvert the course of justice." He said police have more suspects who have not been arrested yet.
Topaz's attorneys said their client was cooperating with the police fully and there was no risk of obstructing the investigation. "His suicide attempt in his cell was averted only by chance, because a warden saw him," Attorney Zion Amir noted.
After reading the investigation report, Mor agreed that Topaz's release could put certain people at risk and posed a risk of obstruction of justice. He also said Topaz constituted a flight risk. Mor wrote "There is no choice but to hold Topaz without bail, despite his suicide attempt and his weak physical and psychological state."
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