State's Witness in Gay Club Murder Charged With Fabricating Evidence

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New information against the state’s witness in the 2009 shooting at the Bar Noar gay youth club in Tel Aviv, in which two people were killed and 15 injured, consists of text messages he deleted - that guided Hagai Felician to unwittingly incriminate himself in a recording that was a major piece of evidence in the case.

On Monday, the state’s witness was indicted for fabricating evidence, disruption of proceedings and an aggravated act of receiving an item under false pretenses

At the request of State Prosecutor’s Office officials, on Monday a court allowed publication of the new information obtained in the investigation over the past three months − information that casts doubt on the credibility of the state’s witness in the case.

Police and State Prosecutor’s Office officials learned in November that while the state’s witness was at large, before Felician was indicted on murder charges, he corresponded with several people on the Atraf website, and asked them whether text messages that had been sent over WhatsApp could be recreated. After that, police recreated the text messages that the state’s witness had sent, which Felician had mentioned under questioning regarding the credibility of the incriminating recording in which he was heard saying: “We did clean work there at Bar Noar.”

The services of a technology company were required to recreate the text messages that had been sent over WhatsApp. The messages corroborate Felician’s story, according to which the state’s witness entrapped him by suggesting that he make a recording that would serve as a tool to blackmail Shaul Gonen, the manager of Bar Noar, for which he would receive 4,000 shekels. He said that the state’s witness dictated the words he was heard saying on the recording, “It’s been four years,” but according to Felician, he did not connect the statements to the murder at Bar Noar.

After the state’s witness was arrested, he was confronted with Felician and with the new information, but invoked his right to remain silent and did not cooperate with his investigator.

Hagai Felician (in black shirt, center) in court.Credit: Moti Milrod

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