Israeli Crime Boss Arrested Over 2008 Murder of Underworld Lawyer

Testimony from state's witness led to Asi Abutbul's arrest in the killing of lawyer Yoram Hacham, who represented a number of underworld figures.

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Israel Police at a crime scene.Credit: Emil Salman

Organized crime boss Asi Abutbul was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of involvement in the 2008 assassination of a lawyer, Yoram Hacham, who was killed by a car bomb in Tel Aviv. The arrest is linked to the recent series of organized-crime related arrests, which has come to be known as Case 512.

The identity of the crime boss, as well as details of the specific charges against him, were revealed Monday after a gag order was lifted. Abutbul's remand has been extended by the Rishon Letzion Magistrate’s Court until July 7.

Hacham, the lawyer, represented a number of underworld figures. This is the second time in recent weeks that the head of an organized crime family has been brought to court.

Police sources say a state’s witness in Case 512 led to the arrest. Police previously had intelligence about  Hacham's murder, but  it was insufficient to proceed on the case. The state’s witness shed light on the details of the case, and indictments are expected to be issued.