Ronel Fisher fights before Supreme Court for release to house arrest

July 8, 2015 20:08
2 minute read.

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Attorney Ronel Fisher fought for release to house arrest before the Supreme Court on Wednesday in an appeal from a lower court decision that he be kept in police custody until the end of his trial for bribery.

Fisher was indicted in the Jerusalem District Court on May 14, along with former head Tel Aviv state prosecutor Ruth David, police Supt.

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(ret.) Eran Malka, businessmen Yair Biton and several others in a case that has shaken law enforcement to its foundations. After David retired from public service, she became Fisher’s partner in his defense firm.

A month ago, former police Central District head Asst.-Ch. (ret.) Bruno Stein was also announced as a suspect in a spin-off from the case, as part of a plea bargain deal with Malka in which he will testify against the other defendants.

Malka is accused of passing on information to David and Fisher in return for bribes, to help them outwit officers investigating suspects represented by David and Fisher.

The original 29-page indictment stated that Malka, in his capacity as a senior investigator, gathered a variety of secrets relating to investigations by the Lahav 443 anti-corruption unit’s National Fraud Squad, both those he was running and those run by his colleagues.

Over the years, Malka allegedly shared many of these secrets with Fisher, such as when surprise arrests were scheduled, what questions would be asked in interrogations, and classified information, as they initiated an illegal financial partnership.

According to the indictment, Malka sold information about some of the most sensitive and classified investigations for bribes, violating the basic ethics of the police.

Fisher, the indictment said, under the veil of his prominence in the legal community and his many connections, used the information he received to obstruct investigations against his clients.

On Wednesday, Fisher’s lawyer argued that in economic crimes cases where defendants such as Fisher have already been extensively questioned, they are typically released post-indictment.

The lawyer added that Fisher’s main source of information was Malka, who had clearly abandoned Fisher in cutting a deal with the state and could no longer provide him any information to affect the trial or any other matter.

The state in contrast argued that Fisher was uniquely dangerous for his potential to obstruct justice and tamper with the ongoing trial, and that his record showed an unusual charisma and persuasive ability to convince others to break the law.

According to the state, the only way to guarantee a trial free of tampering is to keep Fisher behind bars and away from any of those involved in the trial.

Supreme Court Justice Yitzhak Amit seemed to play both sides, pressing the state regarding why house arrest under strict supervision was not sufficient, but also implying he could not ignore the state’s concerns that outside of police custody Fisher could tamper with the trial in unforeseeable ways.

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