Crime Boss Pleads Out Over Brawl With Rival Mobster

Shalom Domrani, the reputed head of a large crime organization in southern Israel, was convicted yesterday by the Tel Aviv District Court of causing severe bodily harm in a brawl with another suspected mobster, Avner Harari.

The conviction came as part of a plea bargain: Domrani had originally been charged with attempting to kidnap Harari, who is identified with the rival Abergil crime gang.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed that the defendant would serve 10 months in prison and pay a fine of NIS 10,000. However, the court must still approve this sentence.

The sides presented the plea bargain to Judge Zvi Gurfinkel yesterday. Gurfinkel then explained the meaning of the bargain to Domrani, noting that under a normal process, he could have been convicted of worse offenses.

"I said I wouldn't confirm a 10-month sentence, because it's far too light," Gurfinkel added. "If I were managing the case, you'd be convicted of a more serious criminal offense, which is easily a three-year matter ... I also said I wouldn't even discuss a sentence under 18 months. But I've been persuaded to accept the plea bargain - even though it's the lightest sentence imaginable."

Gurfinkel explained that he did not think Domrani could have been convicted of attempted kidnapping.

According to the original indictment filed in February, Domrani came to the Kamor garage in south Tel Aviv one day in January, accompanied by a bodyguard and another man. There, he encountered Harari.

Domrani allegedly drove up to him, got out of the vehicle and head-butted him without any provocation. He then began punching Hariri, together with some other men, shouting "I'll get you people one by one." Domrani then allegedly tried to push Harari into his car, but failed.

Harari sustained fractures and bruises, and the windshield of his bodyguard's car was broken. He, in turn, was charged with threatening Domrani.

The court set the sentencing hearing for October 18.