Police find evidence of bribery, fraud by Jerusalem deputy mayor

Lahav 443 completes corruption investigation of Meir Turgeman, other senior municipality officials

Meir Turgeman  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Meir Turgeman
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Police investigators have uncovered evidence that Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman committed bribery, fraud and breach of trust, the Israel Police said on Sunday, after completing its investigation into Turgeman and other senior municipality officials.
The investigation focused on public corruption and was conducted by the Lahav 433 National Crime Unit, in cooperation with the Income Tax Authority in Tel Aviv and the State Attorney’s Office for Taxation and Economics. A large number of people including Turgeman were questioned, some of them under caution, about several incidents.
The deputy mayor is suspected of having committed bribery, fraud and breach of trust, as well as an offense involving theft.
The findings of the investigation “raise the suspicion that Turgeman received benefits equal to money in exchange for the advancement of the benefit of others, in violation of the law,” according to a statement released by police.
The investigation file will be transferred to the State Prosecutor’s Office for review and a decision on possible indictments.
Turgeman is suspected of having accepted bribes to advance the interests of construction entrepreneurs in several Jerusalem locations, including the historic Post Office building on Jaffa Street and the Artemisia events hall in Talpiot.
Turgeman is said to have used his power to influence the Municipal Site Preservation Committee to allow for the breaking of walls in the historic building front. In return, one of the suspects allegedly signed a loan guarantee for Turgeman.
Turgeman announced in February that he intended to run for mayor in the October municipal elections.
Udi Shaham contributed to this report.