Ehud Olmert (right) and Uri Lupolianski. 521.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Contrary to local media reports that former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski –
presently embroiled in a corruption trial – is declaring his candidacy for the
capital’s mayoral election, Lupolianski’s son said Monday he knew of no such
According to Israel HaYom, the haredi Lupolianski said he
planned to announce his bid for office after Rosh Hashana, which would
considerably shake up what is presently a two-man race between Mayor Nir Barkat
and challenger Moshe Lion – both of whom are actively seeking the ultra-
However, while Lupolianski could not be reached for
comment, his son, Kobi, said Monday afternoon that he was unaware of his
father’s purported interest in joining the race.
“I don’t know – it’s not
me, it’s my father,” Kobi said by telephone when asked if the report was
accurate. “He’s not in Jerusalem now.”
“You can call him when he gets
back next week,” he added.
Lupolianski served as the city’s first haredi
mayor from 2003 to 2008, following his tenure as deputy mayor under Ehud Olmert.
He was subsequently lauded by the public for presenting accessible and friendly
representation, despite initial fears that he would cater exclusively to the
In 2012 Lupolianski was accused of accepting millions
of shekels in bribes in a corruption case known as the Holyland trial, named
after Jerusalem’s Holyland residential construction project.
of corruption were also leveled against Olmert and former Bank Hapoalim CEO Dan
Lupolianski was indicted in July 2012 along with 15 others for
his involvement in the Holyland affair, in which a wide array of top politicians
were allegedly bribed to smooth over legal and zoning obstacles for the massive
The chief witness in the case claimed he paid Lupolianski
upwards of NIS 2.5 million to help expedite approval for the construction
project. According to the witness, Lupolianski said he would assist him if the
donations were made to Yad Sarah, a charitable medical organization he
Lupolianski has denied any wrongdoing, and is widely expected to
be acquitted of the charges.