Police probe Burg in Ashkelon affair

Half his share financed by men facing criminal charges for grand larceny.

avraham burg talking298  (photo credit: AP [file])
avraham burg talking298
(photo credit: AP [file])
Police are investigating former Knesset Speaker and Labor Party MK Avraham Burg and his business partners, who submitted the winning bid for the government and Israel Military Industries (IMI) holdings in Ashot Ashkelon Industries Ltd. Half of Burg's 72 percent share of the IMI subsidiary, which he seeks to buy together with T.R. Civil Engineering Ltd., is being financed by Ian Davis and Aviv Algor. The two are facing criminal charges, including grand larceny and false registration in company documents, and publishing information which could mislead a reasonable investor. The two were prohibited from bidding for Ashot Ashkelon directly because of the allegations against them. On December 6, 2005, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss recommended to the Knesset State Audit Committee to postpone the sale until the authorities clarify the relations between Burg and his two main financial backers. According to a statement submitted Sunday by the state's representative, Attorney Avi Licht, Lindenstrauss's report was transmitted to the deputy State Attorney for criminal affairs who ordered police to investigate whether Burg provided truthful and complete information about his bid during the sale procedure. Licht's statement came in response to a High Court of Justice petition filed by the Movement for Quality Government, calling for the sale to be frozen while authorities investigated whether Burg had submitted false information. According to Licht, "police have begun investigating the matter. Because of the police investigation, it was decided at this stage not to complete the sale" of Ashot Ashkelon to the consortium headed by Burg.