Convicted Israeli Mob Boss Asi Abutbul Suspected in Unsolved 1999 Murder

Investigation into assassination of Abutbul's attorney in 2008 led to information that helped advance case of Arthur Rosen killing

Crime boss Asi Abutbul, center, appears in court, May 25, 2017.
Ilan Assayag

Crime boss Asi Abutbul, who is currently serving a 17-year sentence in an Israeli prison for running a criminal organization, is suspected of perpetrating a previously unsolved 1999 murder.

That year, body of Arthur Rosen was found along Route 2 near the northern coastal city of Or Akiva. At first the police believed that Rosen had been killed in a traffic accident, but information they received at a later date led them to conclude that he was murdered.

Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court lifted the gag order on the investigation on Wednesday.

In May, Abutbul was implicated in being involved in the 2008 assassination of attorney Yoram Hacham, who was killed by a car bomb in Tel Aviv. Information discovered during the investigation of Hacham’s murder led to the developments in the Rosen case.

Hacham was the attorney for several underworld leaders. In his last court case before being killed, Hacham represented Abutbul, who was convicted. Police intelligence suggested the two had a falling out over Abutbul’s legal representation. Abutbul claimed he wasn’t receiving the proper attention despite the high fees he was paying Hacham. Hacham also objected to Abutbul’s demand to remain in custody and run his business from there or to flee from Israel.