Zvi Bar 370.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The High Court of Justice on Wednesday held an initial hearing on the political
fate of Ramat Gan Mayor Zvi Bar, currently under indictment, with a petition
before it to fire him from his position.
On January 31, the prosecution
filed an indictment against Bar for allegedly accepting bribes, fraud
money-laundering and other offenses.
Bar, who has been mayor of Ramat Gan
for 24 years, denies the charges, refused calls for his resignation in spite of
the indictment, and can only automatically be forced to resign by law if he is
convicted of a crime that carries a finding of moral turpitude.
the Ramat Gan City Council is also empowered to fire the mayor in a variety of
other circumstances, and the Interior Minister may also be able to.
the council decided not to fire Bar last month, Dr. Avi Lilian, one of the
dissenting council members, filed a petition asking the High Court to intervene
and fire Bar.
The court instructed Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar to give
his opinion on the issue within 30 days, before it takes any further action, but
appeared unlikely to intervene, particularly with new elections for mayor in
Ramat Gan only six months away.