Israeli businessman, municipality official indicted in bribery scandal

Former Rosh Ha’ayin Municipality director-general Yigal Yani was charged for receiving bribes in the sum of NIS 27,000 from businessman and contractor Kobi Magnezi

THE ISRAEL POLICE conducts its high-level investigations through Lahav 433, the country’s ‘FBI,’ headquartered in this building in Lod. (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
THE ISRAEL POLICE conducts its high-level investigations through Lahav 433, the country’s ‘FBI,’ headquartered in this building in Lod.
(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)

Former Rosh Ha’ayin Municipality director-general Yigal Yani was indicted on Sunday for breach of trust after a plea bargain was reached with the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office, Israeli media reported.

Yani was charged for receiving bribes in the sum of NIS 27,000 from businessman and contractor Kobi Magnezi, whose companies in return received significant advantages in real estate tenders issued by the municipality from 2012-2015, the indictment reads.

According to the indictment, Yanai received said bribes in a multitude of different ways. One example was given of the former director-general receiving funds in a crate of whisky bottles. In another, Magnezi reportedly paid for a joint vacation to Greece with Yanai and their respective partners, as well as hosting them in his yacht.

Magnezi was also indicted last week for committing bribery, fraud and breach of trust, Israeli media reported.

Magenzi has reportedly bribed not only the Rosh Ha'ayin Municipality, but also the Ashkelon Municipality and the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council in the collective sum of over NIS 300,000.

 An Israel Police car is seen in Beit Shemesh on October 30, 2021 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE) An Israel Police car is seen in Beit Shemesh on October 30, 2021 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

Yanai and Magenzi were both indicted following extensive investigations conducted by Israel Police's Lahav 433, the national crime unit.

"The indictment is another step in the State Attorney's Office and law enforcement's uncompromising battle against corruption in local authorities and in government," the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office stated, according to Israeli media.

"The indictment reveals the defendant's serious acts to abuse his power to promote large-scale business interests while harming the public interest and the local authority's functioning," it added.