Ramat Gan mayor's indictment for fraud commences

The High Court hears petition to fire Ramat Gan Mayor Zvi Bar over indictment for bribery, fraud.

Zvi Bar 370 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Zvi Bar 370
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The High Court of Justice on Wednesday held an initial hearing on the political fate of Ramat Gan Mayor Zvi Bar, currently under indictment, with a petition before it to fire him from his position.
On January 31, the prosecution filed an indictment against Bar for allegedly accepting bribes, fraud money-laundering and other offenses.
Bar, who has been mayor of Ramat Gan for 24 years, denies the charges, refused calls for his resignation in spite of the indictment, and can only automatically be forced to resign by law if he is convicted of a crime that carries a finding of moral turpitude.
However, the Ramat Gan City Council is also empowered to fire the mayor in a variety of other circumstances, and the Interior Minister may also be able to.
After the council decided not to fire Bar last month, Dr. Avi Lilian, one of the dissenting council members, filed a petition asking the High Court to intervene and fire Bar.
The court instructed Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar to give his opinion on the issue within 30 days, before it takes any further action, but appeared unlikely to intervene, particularly with new elections for mayor in Ramat Gan only six months away.