Rishon Lezion mayor faces further questioning in corruption probe

December 27, 2017 20:14
1 minute read.
David Bitan

David Bitan. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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 analysis 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 experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • 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


Rishon Lezion Mayor Dov Zur was questioned for four hours on Wednesday in the municipal corruption case that has been dubbed “Case 1802.”

Zur is reportedly suspected on charges of bribery, fraud and breaches of trust. Dozens of municipality officials, businessmen, real-estate contractors and organized-crime figures are involved in the large-scale corruption probe.

Among them is former coalition chairman and Likud MK David Bitan, who resigned from his chairman post last week. His wife, Hagit, is also a suspect.

Bitan is suspected of accepting bribes, money laundering, fraud and breaches of trust, and was questioned on Sunday for five hours in his fourth round of questioning. Bitan exercised his right to remain silent during the questioning.

Police are suspecting that Bitan advanced the interests of organized crime figures, such as Hussam Jarushi, in exchange for assistance in erasing alleged debts to the criminal entities.

On Tuesday, Channel 2 News reported that Bitan will exercise his parliamentary immunity to prevent police from using wiretapping recordings of him that could allegedly incriminate him.

Sources close to Bitan were quoted as saying that “The laws regarding eavesdropping on Knesset members are very clear and firm, and we are convinced that there were wrongdoings [done in order] to get [the recordings].”

These associates also criticized the police’s attempt to recruit businessmen Moshe Yosef, who is considered close to Bitan and suspected in mediating bribe money to him, into being a state’s witness.

“What they’re [the police] is doing is just insane. They’re willing to let him go only to incriminate another one [Bitan],” a source said.

Media reports said that the police is currently in the advanced stages of closing a deal with Yosef. It was said that while he is unlikely to become a state’s witness, he will likely agree to a deal with them in which he confesses to mediating for bribery in return for a milder punishment.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting in the Knesset before the vote on Knesset dispersal.
June 18, 2019
Who’s running the show in Israel between elections? An explainer


Cookie Settings