6:45PM IL: [UPDATE BELOW] The gag order has been lifted, permitting the release of the arrest of former Jerusalem Mayor R’ Uri Lupoliansky, who has been remanded and ordered held over for an additional five days in the Holyland investigation.
According to the information released by officials, the former mayor held numerous positions in Jerusalem City Hall from 1993-2003, then assuming the role of acting mayor following the departure of Ehud Olmert from the post. Lupoliansky was then successful in his mayoral bid.
The state alleges that Lupoliansky accepts millions of NIS in bribe funds, some of which were funneled through his Yad Sarah organization, laundered as donations to the tax-exempt charitable organization.
The former mayor faces charges including breach of trust, bribery, fraud, tax evasion, conspiracy to commit a crime and money laundering. According to the allegations, the former mayor accepted NIS 3 million in bribery funds in the Holyland case, some of which was allegedly laundered via his son’s kollel in addition to Yad Sarah.
Additional arrests in the case are expected.
UPDATE 7:50PM IL: According to investigators, Lupoliansky accepted funds illegally during his tenure as the head of the Jerusalem Planning Board, not during his tenure as mayor. The former city official allegedly accepted bribery funds via a mediator, a third party – not directly, having received NIS 1.5 million by 1999, and an additional NIS 1.4 million by 2006. There is also mention of an additional $30,000; money accepted for his ‘personal use’, funds that were used to his assist his Jerusalem mayoral campaign. There is mention of yet an additional $100,000 which was channeled through his son’s kollel.
It is alleged that in return for the funds, Lupoliansky used his position and influence to advance the agenda of the Holyland developers.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)