Interior Ministry D-G to be released to house arrest

Gabi Maimon suspected of money laundering and bribery in construction project; homes were intended to house former residents of Gush Katif.

October 18, 2010 23:05
1 minute read.
Apartment buildings in Beersheba

beersheba real estate 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court extended the remand of Interior Ministry head Gabi Maimon until 8pm on Tuesday, when he will be released on three days house arrest.

Maimon and eight others, including a regional council head, were arrested on Monday evening on suspicion of involvement in a real estate bribery and money-laundering affair in Yad Binyamin, near Gedera.

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The homes were intended to house former residents of Gush Katif who were evacuated from Gaza in 2005.

According to suspicions, some of homes were awarded to individuals improperly, through bribes.

The suspects, including Mateh Yosef Regional Council Chairman Eli Eskozido, were arrested following an undercover investigation by the National Economic Crimes Unit and questioned at the unit’s offices in Lod. The suspects apparently used straw men to place bids on the properties, but the straw men were cooperating with police, Army Radio reported on Tuesday.

A police source told The Jerusalem Post that the probe focused on five plots of land, adding that it was “much smaller in scope” than the recent Holyland bribery affair in the capital.

Maimon has long been a confidant of Interior Minister and Shas chairman Eli Yishai.

One suspect, Ofer Guetta, was remanded in custody by the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court until Tuesday evening. Another, Shoshana Friedman, was released to house arrest.

Guetta’s attorney, Ofter Bar-Tal, told the court his client was suspected of illegally plotting with another suspect to apply for two tenders, when the terms of the tender limited each person to one application.

The remaining suspects were still in custody by press time.

A Shas Party spokesman for Yishai declined to comment.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report. staff contributed to this report.

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