David Bitan in Knesset on February 5, 2018..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Israel Police is leaning toward recommending the state prosecution indict former coalition chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) on bribery charges, Channel 10 News reported on Sunday.
The police will hand over the case to the prosecution within the next few weeks, the report said. Investigators found that Bitan had received bribes of hundreds of thousands of shekels, some from his close associate Moshe Yosef, who was nicknamed “The Treasurer” for his part in mediating bribe money, including some from real-estate entrepreneur Dror Glazer, the report said.
Police also found evidence to indict Bitan over money laundering and tax offenses, according to the report, which said there were only minor differences between the police and prosecution versions of the investigation.
Efraim Dimri, Bitan’s lawyer, responded to the report by saying the defense team still believes Bitan is innocent, and what the police have been reported as saying were just recommendations.
Bitan resigned from his position as coalition chairman shortly after the police investigation turned into a full-scale probe and he was summoned for questioning. However, Bitan is still a Knesset member.
Bitan reportedly chose to remain silent during some of the police questioning