Suspect in Schalit funds embezzlement remanded for 10 days

Jude rules there is a risk Ronen Bar-Shira might try to obstruct the investigation.

March 1, 2011 04:02
1 minute read.

handcuffs 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Ronen Bar-Shira, who is suspected of having stolen funds donated to the Campaign to Free Gilad Schalit, was remanded for 10 days by the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Monday out of fear that he would obstruct a police investigation into his affairs.

Bar-Shira, who worked for the campaign, is suspected of funneling money given by donors to sponsor a protest flotilla, which was scheduled to sail last September but was later canceled at the request of the Schalit family, to an unaffiliated private organization.

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Investigators questioned Bar-Shira for six hours on Sunday. The police representative at the meeting, Ch.- Supt. Lior Reiss, said that Bar-Shira cooperated and handed over his computer and documents, although many issues remained under investigation.

Reiss refused to disclose facts about the investigation, including who had filed the complaint. He referred repeatedly to a secret investigation report submitted by the police to the court.

Bar-Shira’s lawyers said the Schalit campaign figure responsible for fund-raising and issuing receipts to service providers was Yoel Marshak, and that Bar-Shira had been designated the fall guy because he was convicted of fraud in 2001.

His lawyers argued that since the investigation was likely to take a long time and Bar-Shira was willing to cooperate in full, there was no need for him to be remanded.

The judge, however, decided that based on the evidence and the police report, there was a risk that the suspect might try to obstruct the investigation.

Markash and Schalit campaign director Shimshon Leibman were both interviewed by police on Monday in connection with their roles in the affair.

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