NMeir Rabin 311.
(photo credit: NYaakov Lappin)
Property developer Meir Rabin, a key suspect in the Holyland corruption investigation, is suspected of no fewer than 18 bribery offenses, police revealed during a remand hearing at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
The revelation was made by a police representative to court, as part of an attempt to convince the court to extend Rabin’s custody.
Rabin was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of passing on tens of millions of shekels in bribery money to decision-makers in the Jerusalem Municipality in exchange for receiving approval for the enlarged and controversial residential development overlooking the capital’s Malha neighborhood.
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He is also suspected of acting as intermediary and passing on NIS 1.5 million in bribes to former Israel Lands Authority head Ya’acov Efrati on behalf of former Bank Hapoalim chairman Dan Dankner, in order to ensure that industrial land he owned in Atlit could be converted into profitable real estate developments.
In addition, Rabin is suspected of involvement in real estate bribery offenses involving developments by the Zera company and the Tzuk Menara construction plan.
The police representative to court, Ch.-Supt. Assaf Valpish, said Rabin faced accusations of acting as an intermediary in four separate property bribery affairs, in which he allegedly committed 18 offenses.
Valpish did not deny claims by Rabin’s attorneys, Eli Cohen and Giora Zilberstein, that their client had been questioned over suspicions of passing bribes to Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, as well as passing on illegal funds to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Likud MK Ruhama Avraham and former Likud MK Danny Naveh.
Rabin and all of the public officials named by the attorneys have denied the allegations in recent days.
Asked if police were attempting to convince Rabin to turn state’s witness, Valpish said Rabin had been asked to “tell the truth” during questioning.
Police later refused to confirm reports that a specially trained National Fraud Unit investigator had recently been tasked with attempting to convince Rabin to turn state’s witness, and that the efforts had not met with success.
Also on Wednesday, Rabin’s wife accused police of tracking and restricting her movements, claiming police activities were part of an effort to pressure Rabin to turn state’s witness.
Judge Avraham Haiman extended Rabin’s remand by six days. It was Rabin’s fourth remand extension, bringing his total number of days in custody to 30. Should police seek a further extension, special approval from the attorney-general would be required, according to legal protocol.
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