Holyland apartments 311.
(photo credit: courtesy)
The police have almost finished investigating the Holyland Affair and the state
prosecution is due to decide in principle whether to indict any of the suspects
within four months, the assistant to the attorney-general revealed on
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The disclosure came in a letter to Ruth Yosef, chairwoman of
the Jerusalem District Council for Planning and Building. In the letter,
attorney Sarit Dana told Yosef that the Justice Ministry would not prevent
developers who have already started to build on the site from completing the
However, she added that until the investigation was
completed, she was asking attorney Yossi Habilio, the Jerusalem municipal legal
adviser, to inform the State Attorney’s Office of any new requests for building
permits on the vacant sites.
According to Dana, the Holyland complex
consists of 17 separate building sites. Currently, eight buildings have been
constructed, including one skyscraper of more than 30 stories. The rest of the
sites are empty.
Dana called on Yosef to study the plans for those
projects that had already been approved but not yet built, with an eye to “the
question of the appropriate planning for these sites.”
This included one
site where infrastructure work had already begun, she wrote.
Affair exploded onto the public scene at the beginning of April.
suspected that a number of developers paid millions of shekels in bribes to
municipal officials and middlemen to approve changes in land use and increases
in building rights in the area, which was once earmarked for hotels
Among those suspected of receiving bribes were former prime
minister and ex-Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert, former Jerusalem mayor Uri
Lupolianski, former Jerusalem city engineer Uri Sheetrit, former deputy mayor
Yehoshua Pollack and Olmert’s one-time close friend, attorney Uri Messer. Hillel
Charney and Meir Rabin were among those suspected of giving or passing on
Several weeks after the affair became known, it disappeared from
the headlines, while police continued their investigation.
is the first official statement that the investigation is drawing to an end and
that the state prosecution will soon decide whether to indict any of the
suspects. Dana emphasized, however, that before making a final decision, the
prosecution would grant a hearing to those it is considering chargi