Raanana Deputy Mayor arrested on fraud and bribery
Yoel Azarzar's attorney says his client denies all charges, adds the case “is simply a politically-driven campaign by police.”
By BEN HARTMAN
Ra’anana Deputy Mayor Yoel Azarzar took bribes to advance building projects and embezzled funds from the local burial committee, Israel Police’s National Fraud Squad said on Tuesday.Azarzar, who could face charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering and embezzlement, was brought to the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, where his remand was extended by four days.Azarzar’s attorney Tzadok Hugi told The Jerusalem Post that his client has denied all of the charges against him. The case “is simply a politically driven campaign by police to destroy my client,” Hugi said.He added that he expects Azarzar to be released from custody at his next remand hearing.Also on Tuesday, a senior official from neighboring Hod Hasharon had his remand extended by seven days by the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court following his arrest the previous day on suspicion of accepting bribes and committing fraud. by canceling local property debts. His identity was under a gag order.Azarzar joins a long list of municipal officials who have been arrested for alleged bribery and corruption including Bat Yam Mayor Shlomi Lahiani, who was indicted, Mayor Tzvi Bar of Ramat Gan, Yitzhak Rochberger of Ramat Hasharon and Mayor Shimon Gapso of Upper Nazareth.
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