(photo credit: Courtesy)
New details emerged on Tuesday from a police investigation into an alleged real estate bribery affair which resulted in the arrests of Interior Ministry Director-General Gabi Maimon and eight additional suspects on Monday.
Maimon and two additional suspects, including Nahal Sorek Regional Council head Eli Eskozido, were released to house arrest on Tuesday.
According to suspicions, Maimon was involved in a fraudulent purchase of
two plots of land in the religious town of Yad Binyamin, near Gedera,
which were reserved for evacuees from Gush Katif.
Police suspect Maimon, in collaboration with Eskozido, arranged for the
plots to be sold to a man and his mother, named as Moshe and Shoshana
Friedman, who qualified for the land tender, in a bid to circumvent
restrictions which forbade him from making the purchase.
A police source told The Jerusalem Post
on Tuesday that the Friedmans were paid to act as straw purchasers on behalf of Maimon.
Maimon is suspected of fraud, money laundering, and forgery, although
the alleged acts were unconnected with his position as director-general
of the Interior Ministry, Tel Aviv Magistrate Judge Dorit Reich- Shapira
said during the remand hearing on Monday.
Eskozido is suspected of forgery, fraud, and breach of public office, as well as illegal use of property.
A police source told the Post
on Monday that the investigation was
focused on five plots of land, adding that it was “much smaller in
scope” than the recent Holyland bribery affair.
Maimon is the appointee of his long-time close Shas party confidant, Interior Minister Eli Yishai.
The police’s National Economic Crimes Unit said more arrests could be forthcoming.