The Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court on Wednesday extended the remand of popular Israeli singer Margalit Tzanani by nine days, but it was later reduced to six days.
The 62-year-old singer, who was arrested on Tuesday, has been accused of extorting talent manager Assaf Atedgi, whom she believed owes her royalties from a young singer they represent, Omer Adam.
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The Petah Tikva District Court reduced the singer's remand to six days Wednesday evening after an appeal was filed on her behalf.
"This is a sad case involving criminal offenders in the entertainment world. There are many people involved, many operations. This is a complicated investigation," a police official stated during the court hearing. "She was probed under the suspicion of involving criminals in order to resolve a dispute between her and her manager."
The well-known judge of "Kokhav Nolad" ("A Star is Born," the Israeli version of American Idol) has been accused of extortion, conspiring to commit a crime and intimidation. Police officials had requested to extend her remand on charges of obstruction of justice and posing a danger to the public.
The court was also asked to extend the remand of four other suspects: Margalit's son Asaf Tzanani, producer Yossi Ben David and two men allegedly part of Amir Mullner's crime family – Michael Hazan and Ofer Amar. Both Hazan and Amar are suspected of being sent to extort Atedgi.
Fellow judge Gal Uchovsky and Tzanani's sister (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
The Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court extended the remand of Hazan and Amar for nine more days, ruling that there was reasonable suspicion after examining the legal evidence presented.
Fellow TV judge Gal Uchovsky arrived in court to support Tzanani, telling the press: "I'm sure she's had a rough night. I came to be by her side as a friend."
Tzanani was questioned for over 12 hours by the police, which noted that this was only the beginning, claiming other known music personalities are expected to be probed as well.
Investigators said they have incriminating recordings of Mullner's people, who allegedly operated on behalf of Tzanani, which prove Atedgi was extorted. Detectives are planning on holding a confrontation between her and Atedgi in the near future.
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