Attorney Ronel Fisher (C) appears in court..
(photo credit: YONATHAN SINDEL / FLASH 90)
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday allowed prominent lawyer turned bribery suspect Ronel Fisher to be released from police custody to house arrest, following his hospitalization Monday after fainting during interrogation.
According to the court order, Fisher will remain in the hospital until he recuperates and then will be transferred to house arrest until July 26. He is barred from having contact with any of the other defendants in the case.
It is unclear whether he would return to police custody after July 26 or have his house arrest extended.
At Tuesday’s hearing, the state informed the court that further investigation of Fisher is required, but that it understands the need for a pause.
Fisher’s lawyer said that he was “completely out of balance with his medications” while in police custody, which led to his fainting.
Fisher was arrested approximately two weeks ago on suspicion of being a middle man in a series of bribery schemes between top police officials and clients of his under investigation.
The bribes allegedly were to close cases or to pass on classified information, such as to Ashdod Port union head Alon Hassan.
Because Fisher has such close relations with so many top officials, including representing some – such as Dep.-Ch.
Ephraim Bracha, who heads the National Fraud Squad – the scandal threatens to rock the Israel Police to the core.
Fisher, who denies the allegations, is represented by his partner and former Tel Aviv district attorney Ruth Blum David.
Fisher’s arrest had been coordinated at the highest level and included a sting operation approved by State Attorney Shai Nitzan that involved Hassan turning Fisher in to police.
According to media reports, Hassan told police that Fisher told him he could get law enforcement officials to close the case against him if Hassan gave Fisher $150,000 to use for bribes.
The police then taped conversations between the two and collected a variety of evidence.
Earlier, Hassan revealed to police that Fisher had provided him with tactical details of the corruption investigation against him so that he could better prepare for being questioned.
He stands accused of tipping off Hassan about the case against him and a police raid at Ashdod Port shortly before it took place.
Fisher is also suspected of revealing investigative information he received from his police officer clients in exchange for bribes.