Engineer Admits to Killing Business Associate During Spat

A man has been charged with killing his business associate, a Sderot man whose body was found near Shoham on Tuesday after he had been missing for a week, police said yesterday.

Police said the suspect, A retired IDF officer who is believed to have shot the man during an argument over business issues, admitted to the killing.

Contractor Shimon Pinto, 35, did not return home from work in the north last Tuesday. His family reported him missing after two days of looking for him and told police that his business partner could be behind the disappearance.

The family also posted missing ads and eye witnesses reported he was last seen in the Herzliya area.

The suspect, aged 40, an engineer from the north, at first denied having anything to do with Pinto's disappearance and said he had no idea of his whereabouts.

However, after several hours of questioning on Tuesday night he changed his story and told the police that he had shot Pinto to death in the heat of a business dispute.

He said the two had been arguing over payment arrangements in future projects when a bullet was inadvertently fired from his rifle, which he is licensed to carry, hitting Pinto's upper torso and killing him instantly.

He also said he shot Pinto in self defense, in another version of the story.

The suspect took the police to where he had disposed of the body, near Shoham's industrial area, and reconstructed the incident.

Police believe the suspect owed Pinto a large sum of money.

Pinto's body was brought to the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine and an investigation team from the Central District Police's Central Unit inspected the killing site.

The suspect will be brought to Ramle's Magistrate's Court this morning where police will ask for an extension of his remand.