Police: Main Suspect in Tel Aviv Gay Center Murders Confessed to Snitch

Police informant sharing a cell with Hagai Felician elicited a confession tying him to the crime.

Yaniv Kubovich
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Yaniv Kubovich

The prime suspect in the 2009 Barnoar shooting reportedly confessed to the crime while sharing a jail cell with a police informant, the Israel Police said Sunday.

Hagai Felician - the main suspect in the fatal 2009 attack on Tel Aviv’s Barnoar LGBT center - has been sharing a cell with a police informant for the past several days, officers involved in the case say. Felician reportedly confessed to the informant that he took an active and significant role in the crime, according to police.

In addition, Felician this weekend was reportedly asked by two investigators, “So who was at the Barnoar?” to which he responded by pointing to himself.

The investigators then asked what he did with his clothes and the weapon. He reportedly responded by pointing to an ashtray.

Felician later reportedly told police that he had been lying during that interrogation, and that he had been taking credit for a crime he did not commit.

He reportedly also told police, “You have everything on me. You solved the case. You can pat yourselves on the back.” Felician was remanded for another eight days.

Police say they have collected enough evidence for an indictment in the case. “It’s a closed case,” one officer said.

Meanwhile, a second suspect in the attack, Tarlan Hankishayev, was released Sunday to house arrest.

Police believe Hankishayev gave Felician the gun used in the attack. But Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court Judge Ido Druyan determined that the prosecution failed to prove he was directly involved in the shooting.

The state witness in the case, who dramatically escaped police custody before being apprehended this weekend, was arrested and remanded to house arrest Sunday for a further 30 days. The state witness was present in the courthouse at the same time as the suspects, but police took precautions to ensure they did not meet.

Hagai Felician in court. Police believe he committed the Barnoar shooting.Credit: Moti Milrod

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