Key Holyland scandal suspect released

Meir Rabin posts NIS 500,000 bail, freed to 20 days' house arrest.

May 10, 2010 01:50
2 minute read.
Meir Rabin

NMeir Rabin 311. (photo credit: NYaakov Lappin)


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Key Holyland corruption affair suspect Meir Rabin was released to 20 days’ house arrest on Sunday after spending 34 days in custody.

Rabin, a property developer, is suspected of acting as an intermediary between real estate developers and senior elected officials in the Jerusalem Municipality and transferring tens of millions of shekels in bribes.

The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court ordered Rabin to post NIS 150,000 bail and forbade him from contacting anyone but his attorneys and family members. He has also been forbidden from discussing the investigation with the media for 90 days.

'Police tried to break Rabin'

Following his release, Rabin’s attorneys, Eli Cohen and Giora Zilberstein, said police had attempted to “break” their client and cause him to incriminate himself, but that Rabin refused to cooperate with detectives from the National Fraud Unit.

“He was questioned in two-and-a-half affairs,” Cohen said, referring to a question on an earlier police suspicion that Rabin had been involved in 18 alleged counts of bribery.

“He was questioned on the Holyland development, developments by the Zera company, and the ‘salt deal,’” Cohen said, referring to police suspicions that Rabin had passed bribes from former Bank Hapoalim chairman Dan Dankner to former Israel Lands Administration head Yaakov Efrati to facilitate the conversion of industrial land into real estate developments.

“Rabin has denied all of the charges. We expected police to try and collect supportive evidence to back an account by their state’s witness, an account which is mostly made up of lies,” Zilberstein said.

Beit Shemesh city manager released to house arrest

Also on Sunday, police released Beit Shemesh city manager and former Interior Ministry official Mati Huta to seven days’ house arrest.

Huta served as chairman of the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee and chairman of the Jerusalem Appeals Committee between 1996 and 2004, and had repeatedly expressed support for an enlarged Holyland real estate development during that time.

Police suspect Huta’s endorsement of Holyland came after he “demanded and received bribes from Holyland backers, as well as backers from other projects.”

Huta’s attorney, Avi Odiz, slammed police for asking Huta to post a bail of hundreds of thousands of shekels after freezing Huta’s bank account and credit card as part of the investigation.

“Huta’s wife had to ask friends for a hundred shekels’ loan to go shopping,” Odiz said.

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