Former Lod mayor to be charged with allegedly taking campaign bribes

State Attorney Eran Shendar announced Sunday that after granting a hearing to former Lod mayor Benny Regev, he had decided to indict him on charges of having accepted a bribe from builder David Appel. On April 14, 2005, Shendar announced he was dropping the charges against Appel for having allegedly bribed Regev. He gave no explanation for that decision. In the same announcement, he said he intended to indict Regev, conditional on the outcome of a hearing that he planned to grant him. According to the charges against Regev, he served as mayor from 1996 to 1998. In 1998, he ran for the same position as an independent and established a non-profit organization called Citizens for Benny Regev to raise money to finance his campaign. He failed to do so, however, and fell into massive debt. During Regev's first term as mayor, Appel completed construction of a 5,000-unit residential project called Ganei Aviv, in Lod, and was busy selling the apartments and trying to make the project more attractive by adding more services. In that context he was in close contact with Regev, whom he allegedly found helpful. In order to help Regev win a second term, Appel allegedly contributed a large sum of money to his campaign. According to the bribery charge which was later dropped from Appel's indictment, he allegedly gave Regev NIS 1.394 million.