Eran Nagauker, who is suspected of helping Niv Asraf stage his own kidnapping in the West Bank, denied having called the police to report his friend was missing, but police said Tuesday it had a recording of the call.
The recording, police said, will be presented in court on Sunday when the two are to be indicted.
Police sources revealed details from the recorded call to Ynet, a conversation Nagauker claims never happened.
According to the police sources, Nagauker is heard talking to a police phone receptionist, stating his first name and saying he and his friend went to Kiryat Arba to pray, but got stuck on their way due to a flat tire.
Late in the recording, Nagauker can be heard saying his friend left to get a wheel wrench to replace the flat tire from one of the nearby villages, but has yet to return, half an hour later.
The police receptionist is heard asking Nagauker whether his friend has a cell phone so it can be used to locate him, and Nagauker responding the phone was left in the car.
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Later, police said, Nagauker pointed to the village of Bayt Einun as the place his friend was headed to.
The recording starts with the words, "Hello, this is the police, (name of receptionist) speaking," which indicates this was an incoming call to the police's emergency call center.
In interviews given to the media, however, Nagauker told a different version. "I never dialed the police," he told Ynet. "I saw a policeman and I approached him. I told him I couldn't find my friend."
Nagauker made similar comments in other press interviews.
Attorney Itay Yitzhak, who represents Nagauker, said in response to the police's claims about the call's recording that his client never lied and that the recording is of a different call in which the police contacted Nagauker.
"We didn't say there wasn't a call to police, just that he didn't initiate the call," Attorney Yitzhak said. "He didn't call the police, the police called him, and then he said the aforementioned things. He saw a policeman in the area, told him he didn't know where his friends was, the policeman got his details and they called him."
Police rejected Attorney Yitzhak's claims, insisting Nagauker did indeed call police. "The two (Nagauker and Asraf) won't stop lying and changing versions," officials familiar with the investigation said. "All of the versions they gave were carefully examined during the investigation and many contradictions were found."
These officials said Asraf and Nagauker's different claims were examined, among other things, using testimonies given by many associates of the two suspects.
The search for Asraf started on Thursday afternoon after Nagauker turned to the police and reported his friend missing. After some 8 hours of searches - the IDF Spokesman announced the kidnapping of 22-year-old Asraf from Be'er Sheva was fabricated. He was located in a wadi in Kiryat Arba with canned food and a sleeping bag. Asraf and Nagauker were then arrested.
The search for Asraf included hundreds of IDF soldiers and policemen, and was estimated to have cost millions of shekels.
During the search, the IDF operated almost all of its operational and logistic arms - the Central Command, the Air Force, the Computer Service Directorate, Military Intelligence and the Technological and Logistics Directorate, as well as division command posts in the field, drones and observation balloons, dozens of classified measures and even used expensive traceability and satellite communications ability. All of this was put into action less than an hour from the report on Asraf's disappearance.