TA court acquits heart surgeon Smolansky of bribery, theft

Senior Sheba Hospital heart surgeon Professor Aram Smolansky, who was charged with theft and with 11 cases of bribery in 2004, was acquitted on all counts by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Sunday. In her ruling, Judge Dorit Reich Shapira wrote that despite the large amount of evidence, it was insufficient to determine the doctor's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In 2004, Smolansky was arrested by the Tel Aviv District Police fraud squad for allegedly receiving bribes from patients to perform surgeries. Police said at the time that patients paid between $1,500 and $5,000 to guarantee that Smolansky would conduct the operation. Yaakov Katz contributed to this report