Police recommend charges of bribery for two mayors

Authorities ask state prosecutors to charge Nazareth Illit Mayor Shimon Gapso and Petah Tikva Mayor Yitzhak Ohion.

Shimon Gapso 311 (photo credit: Courtesty)
Shimon Gapso 311
(photo credit: Courtesty)
In the space of two days this week, police have recommended that state prosecutors charge two mayors on separate bribery charges.
The latest recommendation, against Nazareth Illit Mayor Shimon Gapso, centered on suspicions of accepting bribery, mediating bribery, fraud, and breaching public trust, and came after an investigation by the National Fraud Unit and the Lahav 433 Unit. The investigation looked into alleged improper conduct surrounding the management of the Ramle Lod market in Nazareth Illit.
“According to suspicions, the mayor received bribery money directly and through others amounting to hundreds of thousands of shekels over two years,” police said.
The alleged bribery payments purportedly began in November 2008, during elections held in local authorities.
Gapso has denied the suspicions against him.
On Sunday, police recommended that state prosecutors charge Petah Tikva Mayor Yitzhak Ohion and his deputy Uriel Boso on suspicions of bribery. The recommendations were made after police completed an investigation against the officials on suspicions that they received bribery payments and benefits from real estate developers during the 2008 mayoral elections.
Ohion and Boso both deny any wrongdoing. Ohion said last month that the investigation would amount “to nothing.”
Police brass fear that many local authorities are major centers of corruption, and have launched several investigations into local officials in recent years, many of them centering on alleged real estate bribery affairs.