Police purportedly raided the house of the central complainant in a rape investigation against Kiryat Malachi Mayor Moti Malka on Wednesday, where they seized a gun belonging to the alleged victim’s husband, out of concern that he would try to harm the man suspected of abusing her.

The raid first came to light in a report by Israel Radio’s Adi Meiri, who quoted unnamed officials in the State Attorney’s Office as saying it appeared to have been an effort to intimidate the complainant – shortly before an indictment was to be sent against Malka.

Meiri said that while the case is being investigated by the special LAHAV national fraud unit, Kiryat Malachi police did not bother to inform LAHAV detectives before the raid, and neither arrested nor questioned the complainant’s husband after the raid, despite the allegations that they seized the gun because of a potential threat on the mayor’s life.

It is presently unclear whether the reported raid was a simple case of local police negligence or if police were tipped off by someone with an interest in harassing the complainant.

However, by Tuesday afternoon Kiryat Malachi police scrambled to deny the reports, saying there was no raid, and that at no time did they enter the complainant’s house.

Rather, they said the husband came to the police station and turned the firearm over to police, who will hold it until further notice.

In May, Malka was arrested on suspicion of repeatedly raping, sodomizing and sexually abusing the woman whose house was reportedly raided Monday night – an employee of the municipality.

Malka is also suspected of having taken a “sexual bribe” from a single mother in return for arranging a discount on her municipal land tax payments. The mayor is also suspected of accepting an apartment – to use for his sexual encounters – from a local contractor as a bribe.

Malka has denied all the charges against him and has argued that the sexual encounters were consensual and past history. A further five municipality officials were arrested on suspicion of receiving bribes, extortion, fraud and breach of trust.

For years Kiryat Malachi has suffered from a shattered reputation due to the rape accusations and later conviction of hometown boy and former president Moshe Katsav.

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