Businessman and former spy Shabtai Kalmanovich, who was murdered
by an assassin in Moscow on Monday, will be laid to rest in Israel on Thursday, his daughter Liat told Ynet.
"We will bring his body to Israel tomorrow (Wednesday) and the funeral will be held Thursday," she said.
One of Liat's close friends told Ynet that Liat flew to Moscow on Monday to identify her father's body. "She was in shock, because she first heard of the murder on the Russian news channels. She immediately boarded a plane to Moscow to bring (Kalmanovich) for burial in Israel."
The friend said Kalmanovich visited Israel two weeks ago to celebrate Liat's birthday. "He was such a vigorous man, it is hard to believe he's dead," said the friend, "To me, he is not a businessman, but Liat's father. She told me she's having trouble coming to terms with his death and feels as though she is about to wake up from a nightmare."
Kalmanovich was shot near his home in Russia's capital while sitting in his Mercedes. Shots rang out from a passing vehicle, seriously wounding the ex-spy's driver as well.
Moscow Investigative Committee head Anatoly Bagmet said investigators are looking into the possibility that the murder was linked to Kalmanovich's activities as owner of the Spartak Moscow women's basketball team.
Kalmanovich was born in Lithuania in 1947 and moved to Israel with his Zionist family in 1971. According to foreign reports, Kalmanovich agreed to join the KGB as a sleeper agent in exchange for an immigration permit.
According to the indictment against him, Kalmanovich was handing over information to the Russian intelligence service for 17 years. He spent five years in an Israeli prison before his release, due to medical problems. In recent years he sponsored an Israeli female basketball team and also returned to Russia to promote his business career.
Yael Branovsky contributed to the report