Wife of an Israeli mayor arrested for blackmailing potential opponent

The wife of an Israeli mayor is suspected of hiring two former police officers to spy on a political rival, and extorting him with pictures of him cheating on his wife.

 Israel Police. (photo credit: PEXELS)
Israel Police.
(photo credit: PEXELS)

The wife of an Israeli mayor was arrested on Monday, for blackmailing a politically-involved local businessman.

Aside from her, two former police officers and another suspect were also arrested as part of the investigation.

The businessman was photographed having an affair while in a casino in Europe, according to the police. Those pictures were sent to Likud party officials, alongside claims that the businessman was involved in "sex parties, orgies, alcohol, gambling and objectifying women".  

The police suspect that the mayor's wife allegedly hired two private investigators, former police officers who were fired from Israel police, to spy on the businessman.

The two private investigators took the same flight as the victim, where they saw him with a female companion who is not his wife. They spoke with him and later while the victim and his companion were at a casino, the investigators photographed the couple kissing.

Police car at night (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)Police car at night (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

An inner Likud turmoil 

These pictures were later used to blackmail the businessman, demanding he withdraw his candidacy for the mayor's office. He was told that if continues his bid for mayor, the pictures will be sent to people close to him. The businessman refused to retire from the race and the pictures were sent, amongst others, to Likud senior figures like MK Miri Regev, MK Nir Barkat and MK Eli Cohen.

The message was accompanied by false accusations that the businessman was caught participating in "orgy parties and sex", drinking alcohol, consuming drugs and objectifying women.

The victim told his wife about the affair, and by that defused the threat. On Monday morning, the mayor's wife and the two private investigators were arrested and investigated by the police. The mayor, who is not a suspect in this case, gave the police his version of events.

The mayor's wife was brought before a judge to extend her arrest, where her lawyers claimed that she is the one being extorted and requested that the details of the investigation remain censored.

The lawyers representing her said that "she is cooperating with the police" and that the allegation is a "malicious plot".

"She is the one being blackmailed, and in fact, the complainers set her up by running to the police claiming she is extorting them," they added.