The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court extended the detention of Bar Shamai and Yitzhak Luria Ben David, both suspects in the murder of Shalev Aflalo. June 1, 2023/Erez Harel
The suspects in the death of 15-year-old Shalev Aflalo are not expected to stand trial for murder and are believed to be charged only for a car accident. That's how Walla found out!. All this is in contrast to the suspicion of the police, which led to a dramatic turn in the investigation that the car accident was staged by the five young men, including two minors, in order to cover up the premeditated murder of Aflalo. However, sources familiar with the investigation told Walla!: "The police managed to obtain the evidence proving a murder, the investigating unit did not change the line by a millimeter." The State Prosecutor's Office said in response: "No final decision has yet been made."
Shalev Aflalo who was killed in the "car accident" that became a murder investigation May 29, 2023/official website, none
- The incident took place about a year ago in the Neve Ofer neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Fifteen-year-old Shalev Aflalo was hit and killed by a vehicle on the road near his home during the morning hours.
- Examiners from the traffic division of the Israel Police arrived at the scene of the accident to collect findings and later arrested the offending driver, 18-year-old Chen Ziv, who was suspected of driving the vehicle without a license and was in fact disqualified from driving.
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The dramatic turnaround
- Eight months after the incident, there was a turnaround after findings from traffic examiners at the scene raised suspicions that the accident was intentional.
- It is suspected that a 16-year-old minor pushed Aflalo towards the road so that he would be hit by the offending vehicle in which Chen Ziv and Bar Shammai, both 18, were suspected in the case.
- The police initially carried out an undercover investigation and about four and a half months ago made it public and made arrests of the five suspects.
Suspected of driving the vehicle. Chen Ziv/official website, none
What came up during the investigation?
- According to a police representative at one of the hearings to extend the suspects' detention, the investigation pointed to one of the suspects, 19-year-old Luria Ben David, as the "architect" of the incident. The police prosecutor said Luria planned and timed the various actions in the incident and even threatened various witnesses after the ramming and briefed them on how to react and express themselves.
- According to the police investigation, it was a cousin who informed Aflalo's family about the accident in an attempt to whitewash the incident. During the interrogation, a cousin changed his version many times.
- In addition, the police investigation revealed alleged evidence of phone calls and messages sent between the suspects shortly before the incident and wiretaps during the undercover investigation.
- Regarding Bar Shammai, the police told the court that according to the investigation, he did not sleep while sitting next to the driver of the car, as he claimed in his version, but took an active part and even told the driver: "Give gas." According to the police, Shamai changed his version and admitted during interrogation that he had said so.
- During the detention extension hearings in court, clashes took place between Aflalo's family and the suspects' family.
- Police hinted in court that there was a video of the incident being used as evidence in the investigation. However, in the review of Walla! At the scene of the vehicular incident on Arber Street in Tel Aviv, residents of the neighborhood who installed private cameras aimed at the area claimed that the cameras did not work that night. It should be noted that the video was taken around the time of the incident and the suspects were arrested only 8 months later.
- It was believed that the purpose of the investigation at one stage was to prove that the two stages of the incident, the push to the road and then the ramming, were planned and coordinated in advance by the group of suspects, as part of a plan to murder Aflalo. On the other hand, the suspects continued to claim that the boy was pushed without intent to murder him and that the impact of the vehicle was actually an unintentional car accident, as was investigated around the time of the incident.
- At one point, the police allowed Ben David to be released to house arrest, and later the courts ordered the rest of the suspects released to house arrest under restrictive conditions, after claiming that the investigation was no longer progressing. "The reasonable suspicion is not strengthened and the investigative activities are not exposed to disruption," explained Tel Aviv Magistrate Court Judge Avital Amsalem Gilboa.
Shalev Aflalo's family in court/official website, Erez Harel
What do they say?
Shelly, Shalev Aflalo's sister, had trouble digesting that all the suspects were out of prison. "I'm very disappointed. I expected that after eight months they would tell me the truth about what happened to my brother. As usual, the police did the padija. I'm very angry with the police," she told Walla!.
"A few days ago we marked one year since my brother's passing, I believed with all my heart that there was no chance that justice would not stand on our side," added Rotem, Shalev Aflalo's sister. "And guess what? The Israel Police and the State of Israel prove that only those who have status and money are worth something. For a whole year, the young people who harmed him have been living with me and next to me, and I run into them in the supermarket, in the neighborhood, on the street, and it seems okay and logical to everyone. I'm not going to give up. I promised then and today that I would avenge his death in every possible way. The state is trying to cover it up as a car accident and I won't calm down until the truth comes out."
Adv. George Hilo / Courtesy of the subjects
- "The final results in this case indicate that in fact at the time there was no serious undercover investigation," attorney George Helu, who represents Bar Shammai, told Walla. "The purpose of arresting and slandering the names of all those involved in the case is solely to exert pressure and cause any of them to break down and tell things that fit the police's thesis. In this case, an investigation was conducted whose sole purpose was to reach an indictment and not to investigate the truth."
- The State Prosecutor's Office said in response: "After examining the results of the investigation received up to this stage, the file was returned to the police for the purpose of carrying out and concluding investigative activities. The case has not yet been returned to the State Prosecutor's Office and we emphasize that at this stage, no final decision has yet been made. The State Prosecutor's Office shares in the family's grief and works to investigate the truth." The State Attorney's Office also noted that a conversation was recently held with a representative of the Aflalo family and their counsel, at which time representatives of the State Attorney's Office updated the family on the status of the case.
- Police have yet to respond.
- More on the subject:
- Car accident
- Tel Aviv-Yafo
- Israel Police
- State Attorney's Office