Lupolianski's remand upheld

Court cites concern ex-J'lem mayor will disrupt Holyland probe.

April 16, 2010 11:15
1 minute read.
Former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski (AP).

lupolianski 311. (photo credit: AP)

Two days after his arrest for alleged involvement in the Holyland real estate bribery affair, former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski's five-day remand was upheld by the Petah Tikva District Court on Friday, rejecting his appeal.

Judge Avraham Tal cited concern that Lupolianski would disrupt the police investigation should he be released. 

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Lawyers for Lupolianski and the other detained suspects, whose appeals were also rejected Friday, plan to petition the Supreme Court on Sunday in a bid to get the lower court’s decision overturned.

Lupolianski is set to be interrogated along with former prime minister Ehud Olmert, the reported chief suspect in the affair, after Yom Ha'atzmaut, which falls on Tuesday.

Police are expected to confront each with the other's account after it appeared that they were trying to blame each other for the scandal.

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The case revolves around businessman Hillel Charni, who allegedly paid tens of millions of shekels in bribes to senior Jerusalem Municipality officials in exchange for their approval of changes to and the expansion of the Holyland housing project in the capital.

Olmert is suspected of accepting large bribes when he was mayor of Jerusalem, in return for his support for the project.

Lupolianski was deputy mayor and chairman of the municipality’s planning and construction committee between 1993 and 2003, when the Holyland plan was approved. He went on to become a member of the National Building and Planning Committee when he was mayor from 2003 to 2008.

He is suspected of accepting more than NIS 3 million in bribes to ensure that the housing plan was approved, and of money laundering.

Detectives from the National Fraud Unit are focusing significant efforts on getting suspects in the Holyland affair to incriminate Olmert, who vehemently denied involvement  in the case in a brief televised statement on Thursday night.

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