Real estate developer David “Dudi” Appel will finally commence a three-and-a-half-year prison term handed down in 2010, after the Tel Aviv District Court rejected his appeal on Thursday.

Appel was convicted in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court in 2010 of three counts of bribery, but asked the court to postpone his prison sentence pending the appeal.

The businessman was found guilty of bribing former Lod mayor Benny Regev with NIS 1.3 million toward his campaign fund, in return for Regev promoting his interests in building the Ganei Aviv neighborhood in Lod from 1996 to 98.

Appel formulated a plan, the indictment said, to promote Regev’s reelection so that he could in turn advance Appel’s real estate interests with respect to the project, which included 5,000 residential units.

In her ruling, Judge Dvora Berliner said that bribing public officials was “like a cancer, that destroys everything good.”

The State Attorney’s Office, prosecuting, also appealed against the fine the lower court imposed on Appel, asking for it to be increased, but the district court rejected it.

The court also rejected appeals by Regev, who was sentenced to a one-and-a-half year prison sentence for his conviction on accepting bribes, and Appel’s assistant, Benny Tabin, who received a two-year sentence.

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