Police: Entertainer Dudu Topaz Paid Private Eyes to Snoop on Victims

Police say private investigators won't be charged because they were oblivious to Topaz's intents.

Entertainer Dudu Topaz hired private investigators to gather information on media personalities in order to plan his attacks, police said.

Topaz, who confessed to orchestrating attacks on Reshet deputy director Shira Margalit, Keshet CEO Avi Nir, and entertainment agent Boaz Ben Zion, allegedly commissioned detailed reports on the daily lives of many celebrities, including TV hosts Zvika Hadar, Avri Gilad and Erez Tal. The reports included when each person would leave for work and return home.

Police said charges would not be filed against the private investigators, who apparently were not aware of Topaz's intents.

"This is a highly sensitive issue that one needs to be very careful about," said Tzali Peleg, who until recently was chairman of Israel's association of private investigators, to Haaretz. "Topaz was not known as a criminal, and if he legally ordered the investigations and provided a reasonable explanation, there was no reason why the investigators wouldn't carry out the job.

"But if he was asking for daily routines, details on security arrangements and such, this should have sounded an alarm," he added.

One private investigator whose name was mentioned by police and who is considered a good friend of Topaz denied he had worked for the entertainer.

"When the rumors started to spread, I told him he should go do a polygraph test. I wasn't involved beyond that," the investigator said.

On Friday, police said they had acquired testimonies that placed Topaz near Shira Margalit's home at the time when she was attacked. The police have transcripts of phone calls made by Topaz shortly after the attack, in which he castigates the attackers for not doing what they were told - dealing more violently with Margalit, police said.

Topaz told the men that they shouldn't have taken pity on Margalit and run away so soon, police said.

Shortly before police released this information, Topaz was discharged from the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. He was hospitalized after attempting suicide by injecting himself with an overdose of insulin while in his holding cell.

Wardens found a suicide note among his personal belongings. In the letter, publicized on Channel 2 News on Saturday, Topaz wrote: "My beloved children, I have decided that I want to die. I can't deal with the regret and the pangs of conscience, I feel so ashamed. Forgive me. I'm tired of this life, I feel the sorrow, the shame and most of all the guilt. I feel like dying. I apologize to all those I have hurt, I am no longer myself."

He had also left instructions on how to divide his assets after his death.

After being brought back to the detention facility at Abu Kabir, Topaz was moved to a highly supervised cell, monitored by close-circuit television. Police said there may be other people who have received payment from Topaz for carrying out attacks, but have not yet been detained.