A foreign soccer player who plays for an Israeli team was arrested along with his friend, a Congolese national, on Thursday for their alleged involvement in the murder of a young woman whose body was found Wednesday below Netanya's Carmel Hotel.
The two suspects stayed at the hotel, and their connection to the woman's death is under investigation.
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The autopsy revealed that the cause of death was strangulation. Police believe the woman was murdered, and that she was already dead when she landed on the railing.
The woman's body as it was found
The Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court ordered that the soccer player be released from custody and put under house arrest. The player was also granted to take part in a soccer game on Saturday,
Protesting against the judicial decision to allow the perpetrator participation in the game, the victim's mother said: "They shouldn't let them go. She's all I had."
As for the soccer player's friend, Aritzia Akalsongo, The Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court remanded him by an additional week.
On Wednesday the police and Magen David Adom paramedics arrived at the Carmel Hotel after receiving reports of a nearly naked body lying on a railing below the hotel.
The Carmel Hotel in Netanya (Photo: Ido Erez)
The body was dressed only with a shirt, and an examination revealed that it has been on the rail for several hours.
Police believe the death was not a suicide, since the body was almost naked and no suicide note was found, and are investigating the possibility of murder or an accident.
Police at the scene (Photo: Ido Erez)
"We are still uncertain what happened. There is only circumstantial evidence against the two," a police official said.
The soccer player's team released a statement saying: "We hope the player isn't involved in the affair. We'll let the police do their job with hope and faith that he has no connection and that the purpose of the investigation is collecting information."
Soccer player in court, Thursday (Photo: Yariv Katz, Yedioth Ahronoth)
Akalsongo's lawyer, Attorney Katy Tzvatkov from the Public Defender's Office, claimed her client admits he was with the woman during the night and until early morning, but denies he murdered her. The suspect claimed that the woman left through the door, and that he does not know where she went next.
The player's lawyer, Attorney Guy Ein Tzvi, told Ynet: "The player claims he has no connection to the woman and denies any involvement in her death. According to him, his friend was staying in his hotel room over the last days, and several nights ago he saw him briefly with the woman, whom he didn't know and paid no attention to.
"The player fully cooperated with the investigators."
Zeev Goldschmidt contributed to this report
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