Veteran entertainer and television personality Dudu Topaz admitted to plotting the assaults of three of Israel's top media figures, a police source told Ynet Tuesday.
Recent months have seen Avi Nir, CEO of Keshet TV, Reshet TV Vice President Shira Margalit – both franchise holders for Israel's Channel 2 Television, and top agent Boaz Ben Zion assaulted at various
Topaz was arrested on Sunday, along with three other suspects, and remanded to eight days by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court. The Police and State Prosecutor's Office have made the investigation a top priority, as a prosecution source said that there was a chance that formal charges would be filed against Topaz by his next arraignment.
Tuesday's interrogation of the entertainer ended abruptly, as he was rumored to have been taken ill. The police, however, claimed that the short session was planned and that Topaz was taken to the hospital for a pre-planned examination.
Judge Zion Kapah remanded Topaz to a period twice as long as the other three suspects in the case – Saliman Hiadra, Eiman Zabidath, and Daniel Zanko. The police had planned a confrontation between Topaz and Zanko, who is believed to have been the middleman, but have had to reschedule it due to Topaz's medical condition.
During the arraignment Judge Zion Kapah stated that the evidence clearly showed that "Topaz was the head of the pyramid and the one who initiated and planned the attacks… reasonable doubt is fading as hard evidence connecting the suspect to the acts surfaces."
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Despite the ruckus stirred by the assault, added the judge, "(Topaz) forged on with his plan, which included the possibility of attacking Amos Regev, the editor in chief of Israel Hayom newspaper, proving him to be more dangerous than the other three suspects."
Topaz was arraigned via video conference, a method sometimes used by the court. Should the prosecution decide to file charges against him at the next arraignment, he would have to appear before the court in person, in order to enter a plea.
Topaz's attorneys, Zion Amir and Guy Shemer, were unavailable for further comment.