In the space of two days this week, police have recommended that state
prosecutors charge two mayors on separate bribery charges.
recommendation, against Nazareth Illit Mayor Shimon Gapso, centered on
suspicions of accepting bribery, mediating bribery, fraud, and breaching public
trust, and came after an investigation by the National Fraud Unit and the Lahav
433 Unit. The investigation looked into alleged improper conduct surrounding the
management of the Ramle Lod market in Nazareth Illit.
suspicions, the mayor received bribery money directly and through others
amounting to hundreds of thousands of shekels over two years,” police
The alleged bribery payments purportedly began in November 2008,
during elections held in local authorities.
Gapso has denied the
suspicions against him.
On Sunday, police recommended that state
prosecutors charge Petah Tikva Mayor Yitzhak Ohion and his deputy Uriel Boso on
suspicions of bribery. The recommendations were made after police completed an
investigation against the officials on suspicions that they received bribery
payments and benefits from real estate developers during the 2008 mayoral
Ohion and Boso both deny any wrongdoing. Ohion said last month
that the investigation would amount “to nothing.”
Police brass fear that
many local authorities are major centers of corruption, and have launched
several investigations into local officials in recent years, many of them
centering on alleged real estate bribery affairs.