Nazareth-Illit Mayor Shimon Gafsou is again facing bribery and corruption charges, following allegations that he approved the operation of an events hall in the city in exchange for money and favors.
Gafsou was arrested and questioned in connection to the allegations on Tuesday, before being released on four days house arrest by the Haifa Magistrate’s Court. He was required to post NIS 50,000 bond and is banned from leaving Israel or contacting witnesses in the case.
The allegations against Gafsou include bribery, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering, and violation of privacy.
The case revolves around a local events hall that Gafsou allowed to remain open even though the area it was located had still not been cleared for the operation of a private business of this sort. In addition, last year Gafsou’s son was married at the same at the same events hall.
On Tuesday Gafsou said of the new allegations “a war of attrition is being waged against me but I am innocent and I will prove that when given the opportunity.”
In October, Gafsou was one of three mayors who won re-election despite being under indictment for corruption related charges.
In June, Gafsou was indicted on suspicion of taking bribes, but the local municipality voted not to remove him from his position. The High court later ruled that Gafsou must resign, but allowed him to run in the October elections, which he won.