Lahav 433 headquarters.
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Police recommended the indictment of Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg-Ikar on Monday after a months-long investigation into an alleged real estate bribery scandal.
According to a statement by the Lahav 433 anti-fraud unit, the police found incriminating evidence that the mayor, along with her ex-husband, Eliyahu Feirberg, and son, Tsafrir Feirberg, conspired with lawyer Avraham Gogig and Netanya real estate developers to further their private interests.
The statement said the mayor is believed to have rezoned land for the developers of the HPT – Development & Infrastructure Ltd. of the DEL Engineering group in exchange for a stake in the property.
“In the course of the investigation, a picture emerged of a wide range of criminal activity by the mayor and some of her family members, in a number of incidents, in relation to a number of projects,” the police said.
“This method included the purchase of part of the plot in partnership with the developers, hiding behind a ‘trusteeship’ in a way that kept their identity hidden from the public’s eyes and their names from appearing in registers open to public scrutiny.”
Police recommended that Feirberg- Ikar be indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, that her husband be indicted on charges of attempted bribery and that her son be indicted on charges of bribery.
Police also recommended that Gogig be indicted for bribery.
Feirberg-Ikar’s attorneys Nati Simchoni and Ilana Zibenberg told Walla News that their client is not guilty.
“It should be remembered and clarified that the police’s position – whatever it may be – is not legally binding,” the lawyers stated.
“Feirberg-Ikar is certain that at the end of the day, the State Prosecutor’s Office will close the case and reach an informed decision.
She will continue to serve the city of Netanya and its residents faithfully – with their best interests in mind – as she has done for the last 18 years.”
Feirberg-Ikar was arrested in September and is one of four female mayors in Israel.
She is a Likud pillar and is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.