Man Indicted for Murder Even Though Victim's Body Never Found

A Tel Aviv man has been charged with murder even though the body of his alleged victim has yet to be discovered. Menahem Amiel, 28, was charged yesterday in Tel Aviv District Court for the murder of his former employer on circumstantial evidence and remarks the suspect made to investigators and to acquaintances of the victim.

Prosecutors said the suspect worked as a personal driver for Avi Ohayon, an enigmatic figure who led a double life as a yeshiva student by day and a businessman and manager of an escort service by night. They said the evidence, though circumstantial, clearly shows the suspect killed Ohayon following a dispute over money.

The indictment states that on September 24, 2008, Amiel drove Ohayon to an undisclosed location in Tel Aviv and murdered him, then left the body in a second unidentified location.

The suspect allegedly went on an extended shopping spree with Ohayon's credit card, spending over NIS 50,000 over 10 days. On October 3 of that year Amiel flew to the United States, returning to Israel only last month after being deported by U.S. immigration authorities.

"The evidentiary basis for an indictment is the chain of circumstantial evidence that leads to the single conclusion that the suspect caused the premeditated death of Avi Ohayon," prosecutors wrote in the indictment. "This evidence is reinforced by remarks the suspect made to implicate himself in conversation with police investigators."

Prosecutors said Amiel told police Ohayon is dead, and that he was the last person to see his former employer alive. Amiel refused, however, to say where the victim's body could be found.

"All of these point to the fact that the suspect is the one who killed the deceased," prosecutors said.