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Kiryat Malachi mayor suspected of rape
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
05/09/2012
Mayor's son, 5 city officials under arrest in major investigation based on suspicions of sex crimes, large scale corruption.
 
Kiryat Malachi Mayor Moti Malka was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of repeatedly raping, sodomizing and sexually abusing a female employee of the municipality, in an investigation that shocked the country.

The mayor’s arrest – along with that of a second senior official, who is also suspected of rape – followed an undercover investigation by the National Fraud Unit.

According to police suspicions, Malka also took a “sexual bribe” from a single mother in exchange for lowering her municipal land tax (arnona), and accepted a bribe from a contractor in the form of an apartment placed at his disposal, where sexual encounters took place.

Malka has denied the suspicions, saying sexual relations took place with consent, and that he ended the relationship.

Five additional municipality officials were arrested over suspicions of receiving bribes, extortion, fraud and breach of trust.

In an ironic twist, Malka was recently caught on film accusing an opposition council member of rape. The accusation – which Channel 10 broadcast – followed a heated council meeting in which the opposition member, Yossi Hadad, had objected to spending NIS 300,000 on a renovation project, saying the amount of money was unreasonable.

“You piece of garbage, I saved you from rape!” the mayor shouted at Hadad after losing his temper. Hadad later threatened to involve the police.

Police have arrested the mayor’s son on suspicion of extorting Hadad with a view to preventing him from coming forward with details of the offenses.

The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday extended Malka’s remand by eight days. It extended his son’s remand by three days.

Residents of Kiryat Malachi cringed on hearing the news, in light of the negative association that already exists between the southern town and its most infamous son, former president Moshe Katsav, who was convicted of rape.

“It’s very hard to hear this. Again, Kiryat Malachi is in headlines because of negative things,” one resident told Israel Radio.

“This is one of the warmest and nicest places to live.”
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