Attorney General, Avichai MandelblitAnnounced today (Tuesday) its decision to prosecute the Knesset member David Bitan For offenses of taking bribes in the total amount of NIS 715,000 in seven different cases, and for offenses of breach of trust, money laundering and tax offenses. Bitan allegedly committed the offenses as part of his duties in the Rishon Lezion municipality and during his tenure as a Knesset member and chairman of the coalition.
Meanwhile, a notice of the Attorney General’s decision and a copy of the indictment were delivered to me in the absence of MK Bitan. In addition, in accordance with section four of the Knesset Members’ Immunity Law, a copy of the indictment was submitted to the Speaker of the Knesset, in order to allow MK Bitan to inform the Knesset whether he is interested in requesting that he be granted immunity from criminal prosecution.
In addition, the Deputy State Attorney for Criminal Affairs, decided to prosecute Arnon Giladi, who served during the relevant period in senior positions in the Tel Aviv Municipality, including the Deputy Mayor, for bribery and breach of trust.
It was also decided to prosecute nine other defendants in the case, as well as companies they manage, for bribery, money laundering and tax offenses, each according to his share. Notices of this were given to the attorneys of those involved.
According to the indictment, between 2011 and 2017, Bitan took favors from a number of entrepreneurs and stakeholders, in the total amount of hundreds of thousands of shekels. In return for them, Bitan worked to advance the interests of those elements, within the framework of his public duties, while taking advantage of his status, connections and influence in local government and government ministries.
The bulk of the financial benefits that Bitan took were received by him through M.I. When the two had a long-term criminal partnership, Bitan received various services, including money laundering and money laundering services, providing a line of credit and various personal services.
Meanwhile, according to the facts of the first indictment, in those years there was a rift between Bitan and D.G. An ongoing bribery relationship, in which Bitan received financial benefits in exchange for the promotion of three real estate projects in which DG was involved in the jurisdiction of the Tel Aviv Municipality.
Also, between 2015 and 2017, Bitan took a D.G. And Adv. Avi Davidov, financial benefits, through MI, in the total amount of NIS 285,000, which were disguised through invoices from LK, and kept for Bitan by MI in a private fund, as part of the financial settlement between the two .
In addition, Bitan was promised a D.G. An additional payment of NIS 250,000. In exchange for the aforesaid benefits, Bitan acted in order to influence Arnon Giladi to act within the framework of his position in the Tel Aviv Municipality in order to promote various aspects of the three projects in Tel Aviv.
According to the indictment, David Bitan, Meirav Shmuli, Avi Davidov and Arnon Giladi are charged in this case.
According to the second charge, between 2015-2013, Bitan took financial benefits from Danya Cebus Ltd., through MI, in the amount of NIS 336,300, in exchange for promoting a plan to build a gas station at the Ein Hora interchange on Road 431. The financial benefits he took Bitan Medania Cebus was disguised using invoices from LK .. MI and Bitan shared the financial benefits received from Medania Cebus. According to the indictment, David Bitan is charged in this case.
According to the third indictment, between the years 2016-2013, Bitan took benefits from Moti Shaabani, a real estate entrepreneur, and from the company he owns, SAAA Sheltered Housing Ltd., by way of an agreement between the two according to which Bitan will receive rights in the real estate project. Rishon Center “or the financial equality of rights. This, in order to conceal Bitan’s involvement in the summary and disguise the benefit given to him.
In return for the said benefits, Bitan assisted Shaabani in promoting the project in the Rishon Lezion Municipality and in the Central District Planning and Construction Committee. Inside such, According to the indictment, David Bitan, Moti Shaabani and Masa’a Sheltered Housing Ltd. are charged in this case.
As detailed in the fourth indictment, in August 2017, Bitan Mali Nahum, an engineer who owned an architectural firm in Rishon Lezion, took financial benefits in the amount of NIS 60,000. Knowing that Nahum needs his assistance in the matter of an administrative requirement to submit construction plans through an online system, which has caused Nahum heavy damages. Nahum transferred to Bitan the financial benefits in cash through M.I. According to the indictment, David Bitan and Eli Nahum are charged in this case.
According to the fifth indictment, in September 2017, Bitan took from Albert Bitton, a real estate entrepreneur and the company in which Bitton was a partner, American Safe Room Ltd., financial benefits of NIS 10,000 through MI, in exchange for Bitan’s assistance to the municipality. Rishon Lezion in reducing the property tax debts of American Safe Room. The financial benefits that Bitan took from Biton were disguised through an invoice from the LK company. According to the indictment, David Bitan, Albert Bitton and American Safe Room Ltd. are charged in this case.
The sixth indictment states that in 2014 Bitan took from Melihi Coperli Sonek, the real estate manager of a semi-free group and group companies, financial benefits of NIS 40,000, which were disguised through the association’s receipts, in which it was falsely recorded that they were spent on advertising services. This, in return for the assistance he provided to the semi-free group in arranging excessive use of the land on which one of the chain’s branches was established, as well as in arranging the use of public parking lots adjacent to the chain’s branch.
In addition, in 2017, Bitan asked Coperli for financial benefits in the amount of NIS 10,000 in exchange for scheduling a meeting with the CEO of the Rishon Lezion Water Corporation, due to a water pressure problem that arose in one of the semi-free branches. According to the indictment, in this case, David Bitan, Lehi Coperli Sonek, Kol Bo Half Free Ltd. and an elite agricultural produce company Ltd. are charged.
As detailed in the seventh indictment, in October 2017, Bitan took from Yitzhak Jada, the owner and manager of Mashrhit Ltd., which imports and manufactures office furniture through MI, financial benefits in the amount of NIS 23,400, in exchange for the assistance Bitan provided to Jada in connection With the promotion of building a hotel in the Ir Yamim neighborhood in Netanya. According to the indictment, David Bitan, Yitzhak Jada, and Masharhit Ltd.
The eighth indictment states that despite his serious conflict of interest, Bitan acted in the course of his public duties, taking advantage of his connections, status and influence, to advance various interests of M.I. And his associates in a series of cases in which various public servants had to respond to their requests.
Meanwhile, during his time as MK and chairman of the coalition, by virtue of his status, influence and connections, Bitan acted to assist M.I. And his associates, from time to time and as necessary, in various difficulties encountered, Among other things, in front of the Rishon Lezion Municipality, the Lod Valley Regional Council, the Hod Hasharon Municipality, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Israel Land Authority and the Ramla Municipality, and updated M.I. Regarding his actions and results. According to the indictment in this case, David Bitan is charged.
The ninth indictment states that Bitan did not report to the tax authorities his income from the financial benefits he took, in the amount of hundreds of thousands of shekels, with the intention of evading tax. In addition, as detailed in the tenth indictment, in late 2017 Arnon Giladi took financial benefits, using a bank account intended to finance his political activities, from three different real estate entrepreneurs, whom he assisted in promoting planning proceedings with professionals in the Tel Aviv municipality and planning committees, in the amount of thirty thousand Shekels. Arnon Giladi, Raanan Yosef and Chaim Revivo are charged in this case.
At the same time, the ombudsman decided to refrain from prosecuting Bitan in the Bnei Sulimani case, a real estate developer. It was also decided to close the investigation file against Benny Suleimani, who is suspected in the same case. It was also decided to close the cases of Ronen Ginzburg and Eyal Langer, heads of the Danya Cebus company, and against the Danya Cebus company, to which hearing letters were also sent.
Attorneys Dror Matityahu, Sharon Kahana and Ephraim Damari responded in the name of MK David Bitan: “The Attorney General accepted some of our allegations and made a number of changes to the letter of suspicion following the hearing. The charges listed in the indictment will be decided by the court, after being exposed to all the weighty evidence and allegations below us.”
It was also stated that “MK Bitan is confident that at the end of the legal proceedings, the court will reach the obvious conclusion that no defect or wrongdoing has occurred in his actions and will cleanse him of any blemish.”
Adv. Ilan Sofer, represented by Haim Revivo, stated: “We were very surprised and disappointed, to say the least, by the decision to file an indictment. We are sure that the court will be convinced, when the day comes, that this is a wrong decision.”
Source: Maariv.co.il – חדשות מהארץ והעולם by www.maariv.co.il.
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