Likud MK David Bitan Indicted For Fraud As Well As Other Charges

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On Tuesday night, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit approved the indictment leveled against former coalition chairman David Bitan from the Likud party. Bitan is accused of  seven counts of bribery, money laundering, fraud, breach of trust, and tax offenses. The total value of his suspected crimes comes to NIS 715,000.

The Attorney General has asked that Bitan’s immunity be removed so that the case can proceed. Bitan, who is now a member of the opposition denies all of the charges.

According to a previous statement made by Mandelblit in January of 2020, the Attorney General alleged that Bitan received approximately NIS 990,000 in bribes. In addition, he also accused Bitan of receiving an unknown value of ownership rights in real estate between 2011-2017 from bribes.

The six-year period included covered his term as the deputy mayor of Rishon Lezion and a member of the Knesset. The formal accusation is just the latest in the criminal corruption charges that have been brought against high-ranking members of former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government.

In the police recommendation to indict him in March 2019, there were 12 separate instances, such that Mandelblit accepted some, but not all, of the police charges against Bitan.

Mandelblit’s statement said that Bitan acted to promote the interests of those giving the bribes, including Danya Cebus Ltd., as well as a food department chain, several real estate developers, and contractors.

Though Bitan has remained an MK, he stepped down as coalition chairman in 2017 when it became apparent that the criminal investigation into his activities was not going to blow over quickly and could distract from the Likud’s agenda.

“The findings of the investigation revealed that MK Bitan, in the framework of his various public functions, both during the period when he was deputy mayor of Rishon Lezion and during the period in which he served as a Knesset member, received bribes in cash that cost hundreds of thousands of shekels, as well as a promise to receive apartments. In return, MK Bitan exercised his authority, influence, power, and connections on various issues, and used his influence to change legal decisions, grant permits of various kinds, and reduce municipal payments,” the police said in a statement made in March.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


1 COMMENT

  1. As usual only right wing Knesset members are indicted.
    Why was were the cases of Lapid, Lieberman, Ganz thrown out? We all know the answer