Yoel Azarzar 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Ra’anana Deputy Mayor Yoel Azarzar took bribes to advance building projects and
embezzled funds from the local burial committee, Israel Police’s National Fraud
Squad said on Tuesday.
Azarzar, who could face charges of bribery, fraud,
money laundering and embezzlement, was brought to the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s
Court on Tuesday, where his remand was extended by four days.
attorney Tzadok Hugi told The Jerusalem Post that his client has denied all of
the charges against him. The case “is simply a politically driven campaign by
police to destroy my client,” Hugi said.
He added that he expects Azarzar
to be released from custody at his next remand hearing.
Also on Tuesday,
a senior official from neighboring Hod Hasharon had his remand extended by seven
days by the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court following his arrest the previous day
on suspicion of accepting bribes and committing fraud. by canceling local
property debts. His identity was under a gag order.
Azarzar joins a long
list of municipal officials who have been arrested for alleged bribery and
corruption including Bat Yam Mayor Shlomi Lahiani, who was indicted, Mayor Tzvi
Bar of Ramat Gan, Yitzhak Rochberger of Ramat Hasharon and Mayor Shimon Gapso of