Shaya Brandt, a senior election campaign activist for the haredi Koach party in
Beit Shemesh, was arrested last week and released on Monday on conditional
The terms include five-days’ house arrest, the police’s National
Fraud Unit announced.
Brandt was arrested on suspicion that he was one of
the organizers of haredi activists who allegedly committed voter fraud on
Election Day, October 22, as well as on suspicion that he had arranged payments
in return for votes.
On Sunday, David Tefilinsky, incumbent mayor Moshe
Abutbul’s closest adviser, was summoned for questioning by the police and
Abutbul, from Shas, won reelection by fewer than
Still, defeated independent candidate Eli Cohen and his
campaign team allege that widespread fraud and voting irregularities cast doubt
over the validity of the results. They have called for a full police
investigation and, if necessary, repeat elections.
Cohen’s campaign staff
have been collating extensive documentation and testimony on incidents of voter
Nine people have been arrested, questioned and released during the
police investigation, including Yaakov Porush, the son of United Torah Judaism
MK Meir Porush, while dozens more have been summoned for questioning.
Election Day, approximately 200 government-issued personal ID cards were
discovered in two apartments in a residential building.
Cohen’s team is
expected to submit its appeal to the election clerk in the Interior Ministry
Analysts say the spate of arrests and summons may mean that
the police are looking into the possibility that a conspiracy was arranged by
senior figures close to Abutbul to subvert the elections.
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