Entertainer Dudu Topaz Held Over Attacks on Israel TV Execs

Two suspects in attack on producer Shira Margalit allegedly were operational arm of anti-media gang.

Entertainer Dudu Topaz was arrested Sunday for suspected involvement in a string of attacks on television executives over the last few months.

Police had collected evidence against Topaz based on surveillance of telephone conversations he had with suspects in an attack on TV producer Shira Margalit two weeks ago.

In addition, one of the suspects already detained over the incident admitted during the investigation to having a connection to Topaz, strengthening police suspicions of the entertainer's involvement.

Topaz's attorney Zion Amir said that his client denies the charges and has no connection to the matter.

Meanwhile, a Tel Aviv District Court judge said Sunday that two people recently arrested over the attack represent the "operational arm" of a criminal organization targetting prominent media officials.

Margalit, the deputy director of content at Channel 2 franchisee Reshet, was attacked outside her home two weeks ago by unknown assailants.

Police believe that the same two people were involved in attacks on Keshet CEO Avi Nir in November 2008 and and on Boaz Ben Zion, an attorney representing actors, around half-a-year ago.

The suspects, 33-year-old and 22-year-old residents of Tel Aviv already known to police as being involved in drug dealing, possession and violence, were brought to the court Sunday under heavy police guard for a deliberation on extending their remand.

During the deliberation the chief of the team investigating the attacks said that the two are part of "a criminal organization that stands behind a string of attacks on members of the media."

Assistant Police Commissioner Kobe Getanio said that police have a suspicion of what motivated the attack, but did not elaborate.

Judge Zion Kapach, who presented material from the investigation that included a secret report, said the two men "are the operational arm, but are not the initiators of the attack."

Police on Sunday arrested a fourth suspect in the affair, a 38-year-old Tel Aviv resident who works in security.