Ramat Gan 88 224.
(photo credit: Courtesy )
The financial division of the State Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that it
planned to indict Ramat Gan Mayor Zvi Bar, subject to a hearing, on charges of
receiving bribes, money-laundering, fraud, forgery, obstruction of justice and
Bar is suspected of receiving bribes worth more than NIS 2
million from five different real estate contractors on four different occasions
between 2003 and 2008.
Prior to the Pessah holiday the state froze Bar’s
real estate assets and bank accounts estimated to be worth NIS 5m.
ago the police concluded the investigation into Bar’s alleged offenses,
recommending that he be indicted.
The police suspect Bar of granting
liberal building permits to contractors in Ramat Gan, increasing the number of
units per project by hundreds of percent, as well as a series of other actions
for which he allegedly received payment through proxies in foreign
The State Attorney’s Office announced that it was also
considering indicting the five contractors on charges of giving bribes as well
as moneylaundering and fraud. Four of the contractor’s names were cleared for
publication; they are Haim Gayer, David and Meir Levi and Shaul
The name of the fifth suspect was not released.
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prosecution stated that they had large amounts of evidence proving Bar’s alleged
actions, including thousands of documents and testimonies collected from
witnesses both in Israel and abroad.
Bar (76) was first elected mayor in
1989 and since then was elected again in 1993,1998, 2003 and 2008.
entering local politics, Bar served in the police and in 1977 was appointed
commander of the Border Police.
Likud MK Carmel Shama- Hacohen, who first
lodged the complaint against Bar in 2007, when he was chairman of the Ramat Gan
Municipal Control Committee said he was satisfied with the prosecution’s
“As the person who first filed the police complaint against
Bar as chairman of the local control committee and suffered threats and
humiliations by him and his cronies as a result, I am full of satisfaction and
pride at the law enforcement agencies, though I’m not in the least bit happy
with this decision.
“It is a sad day for the city of Ramat Gan and its
residents who, for more than 20 years, put their trust in a man who raised
corruption to an art form in terms of both daring and sophistication,” said
“For years I have battled to expose the true face of the
man who conducted a reign of terror over the clerks and elected officials at
city hall. To my sorrow, we have only managed to expose the tip of the iceberg.
Nearly every construction project in Ramat Gan is tainted with
Shama-Hacohen also charged that prior to the prosecution’s
announcement, Bar managed to “buy off” two local opposition members, granting
them deputy mayor status in exchange for his political survival.
Ramat Gan mayor’s office in response accused the State Attorney’s Office of
attempting to prejudice the public against Bar.
“Freezing his [Bar’s]
accounts on the eve of the holiday, prior to conducting a hearing, was an
unnecessary move aimed at harming Bar for harm’s sake and possibly to create a
public atmosphere that would make it impossible for him to battle [to prove] his
honesty. Zvi Bar’s hands are clean and he will not back down from carrying on
his public service for the city of Ramat Gan and its residents, despite the need
to defend himself from the false accusations hurled against him,” read the city
“The mayor looks forward to being given the chance
to once and for all do justice to 22 years of defamation and lies hurled at him
by a welloiled mechanism led by hateful and vengeful people who Bar prevented
from getting their hands on city assets and getting rich at the taxpayer’s
expense,” read the statement.
“The mayor has no intention of resigning,
the law doesn’t require him to resign and he plans to continue working for the
benefit of the residents of Ramat Gan, even while defending himself in court,”
the statement concluded.
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