Yishai on Maimon accusations: I pray truth comes to light

Interior Ministry D-G Gabi Maimon to be released to house arrest; suspected of money laundering and bribery in construction project.

beersheba real estate 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
beersheba real estate 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Interior Minister Eli Yishai commented Tuesday on Monday's arrest of Interior Ministry Director General Gabi Maimon on suspicion of bribery and money-laundering.
In a statement, Shas chairman Yishai said that he had been surprised to hear about the accusations levelled at Maimon. He pledged his support and said: "We hope and pray that the truth comes to light."
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Maimon has long been a confidant of Yishai.
On Tuesday morning, Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court extended Maimon's until 8pm on Tuesday, when he will be released on three days house arrest.
Maimon and eight others, including a regional council head, were arrested on Monday evening on suspicion of involvement in a real estate bribery and money-laundering affair in Yad Binyamin, near Gedera.
The homes were intended to house former residents of Gush Katif who were evacuated from Gaza in 2005. According to suspicions, some of homes were awarded to individuals improperly, through bribes.
The suspects, including Mateh Yosef Regional Council Chairman Eli Eskozido, were arrested following an undercover investigation by the National Economic Crimes Unit and questioned at the unit’s offices in Lod. The suspects apparently used straw men to place bids on the properties, but the straw men were cooperating with police, Army Radio reported on Tuesday.
A police source told The Jerusalem Post that the probe focused on five plots of land, adding that it was “much smaller in scope” than the recent Holyland bribery affair in the capital.
One suspect, Ofer Guetta, was remanded in custody by the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court until Tuesday evening. Another, Shoshana Friedman, was released to house arrest.
Guetta’s attorney, Ofter Bar-Tal, told the court his client was suspected of illegally plotting with another suspect to apply for two tenders, when the terms of the tender limited each person to one application.

Gil Hoffman and JPost.com contributed to this report.