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Drama in Jail

Topaz during remand hearing on video conference, Monday Photo: Ofer Amram
Topaz during remand hearing on video conference, Monday Photo: Ofer Amram

Dudu Topaz attempts suicide in prison cell

Medical team dispatched to Abu Kabir detention facility finds 'ratings king; in state of stupefaction in his cell after injecting himself with insulin. Topaz, who recently confessed to ordering attacks on TV executives, evacuated to hospital in mild condition

Raanan Ben-Zur
Published: 06.04.09, 07:10 / Israel News

TV personality Dudu Topaz on Wednesday night attempted to commit suicide in his prison cell at the Abu Kabir detention facility in Tel Aviv.


A Spokesman for the Israel Prison Service reported that Topaz, 62, injected himself with insulin in order to bring down the level of sugar in his blood to zero. He was found by an officer of the watch during a routine inspection in a state of stupefaction. At least four insulin syringes were found in the cell.


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Wardens and a medical crew dispatched to the area attended to Topaz, a diabetes patient, stabilized his situation and evacuated him to the Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.


"Topaz's condition began deteriorating, but the wardens' alertness and quick response stopped him from badly hurting himself," the IPS said in a statement. Topaz will remain in the hospital for observation for the time being.


Topaz, who was arrested on Sunday, has confessed to ordering brutal attacks on TV executives Avi Nir and Shira Margalit and on actors' agent Boaz Ben-Zion in order to get back at them for the decline in his career on television. Topaz is believed to have paid NIS 50,000 (about $12,614) for each attack.


No early signs

Topaz was returned to his prison cell Wednesday evening following several questioning sessions at a Tel Aviv police station. The wardens did not spot any signs which may have signaled that he planned to end his life.


However, the instructions given to the wardens were clear: His situation must be inspected every few minutes, even at night. The inspections include entering the cell and checking it through the bars.


During one of the inspections, at around 2 am, the officer of the watch entered Topaz's cell and found him in a dazed condition, mumbling unclear words. The two other detainees in the cell were asleep and did not notice what was happening.


The officer immediately alerted a medical assistant who gave Topaz first aid before a Magen David Adom emergency crew was dispatched to the area.


Following the suicide attempt, the IPS plans to appoint an officer to look into the incident. One of the options the officer will examine is that Topaz took an overdose of insulin in order to outline a defense line of a person allegedly suffering from mental problems.


Avi Cohen and Daniel Edelson contributed to this report


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