State files bribery, theft indictment against Foreign Ministry officials

The Cairo embassy officials allegedly used ministry money to pay for NIS 150,000 worth of food, among other lavish expenses.

November 25, 2015 22:37
1 minute read.
Israeli embassy in Cairo

An Israeli flag flies at the top of the Israeli embassy in Cairo August 19, 2011. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Justice Ministry Economic Crimes Division on Wednesday filed an indictment with the Jerusalem District Court against two senior Foreign Ministry officials for bribery and theft amounting to hundreds of thousands of shekels between 2008-2013.

A major part of the alleged criminal activity by the two officials, acquisitions head Avshalom Ashuri and his deputy, Yehoshua Gabai, related to Israel’s Cairo Embassy, which was vacated during an attack on the embassy during protests in Egypt and in 2011.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

It remained unoccupied until officials recently returned and reopened it in September.

Ashuri and Gabai had knowledge of and access to various ministry financial accounts. When the embassy was being evacuated, a security guard grabbed around $100,000 in a bag from an embassy safe to bring back to Israel.

About $25,000 fell out of the bag and was lost, but around $75,000 made it back to Israel and was placed in a special account.

Gabai made multiple attempts to draw from the account in order to steal the funds, said the indictment.

The charge sheet did not explain what the outcome of those attempts was.

Ashuri and Gabai were also each accused of using ministry funds to pay for trips to Eilat and elsewhere costing hundreds of thousands of shekels.

In addition, the two men are accused of taking kickbacks from a ministry supplier.

Ashuri and Gabai had the authority to approve office purchases and were in charge of maintaining communications with a ministry supplier named David Mirilly.

As part of that relationship, Mirilly provided Ashuri air conditioning units worth NIS 23,000 for personal use for free, stated the indictment.

Mirilly also provided Gabai with a refrigerator, oven and stove worth NIS 14,000 for personal use for free.

In addition to the above issues, Ashuri and Gabai allegedly used ministry funds to pay for NIS 150,000 worth of food items.

A Justice Ministry statement noted that Mirilly was indicted in September and had cut a plea bargain with the state, becoming a state’s witness against Ashuri and Gabai.

Related Content

July 21, 2018
Syrian regime pounds ISIS near Golan Heights