Police recommend indicting MK David Bitan for corruption  

March 8, 2019 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The police have announced that it has gathered enough evidence to indict former Coalition chairman Member of Knesset (MK) David Bitan for bribery.

David Bitan Photo by Hillel Maeir/TPS

The case in question involves a corruption scandal that began during the period Bitan served in the Rishon Lezion municipality and continued through his term as Knesset lawmaker.

The police stated that the investigation was complex and involved the collection of testimonies from more than 300 witnesses and the questioning of 80 suspects. Dozens of locations were searched, 700 binders of documents were seized, and tens of millions of shekels were seized.

The findings of the investigation revealed that Bitan, a Likud lawmaker and confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the framework of his various public functions, both during the period when he was deputy mayor of Rishon Letzion and during his tenure as MK, received cash bribes in an amount of close to one million shekels. In return, Bitan exerted his authority, influence, power and connections and led to changes in decisions, the granting of permits of various kinds, and the reduction of municipal payments in favor of the companies and entities that provided the bribes.

As part of his activity, Bitan initiated meetings in the Knesset and in the municipalities and appealed to decision-makers on behalf of the bribing parties.

All this was done by Bitan, with the aim of advancing the interests of the business entities in whose service he acted, the police charged.

In the framework of the Danya Cebus construction company affair, an evidentiary basis was established that in the years 2013-2015, the company’s CEO Ronen Ginzburg gave NIS 430,000 in bribes to Bitan and another person, in order to promote Danya Cebus’ business ventures in various government projects.

In the context of another affair that involved real estate developers, an evidentiary infrastructure was established that over the years 2011-2017, Bitan helped entrepreneurs promote three real estate projects in Tel Aviv with various municipal officials. In return for advancing the projects, he received a bribe of NIS 385,000.

Upon completion of the investigation, the police stated its position that a solid evidentiary infrastructure has been established against dozens of people involved, including public figures and private individuals, for bribery, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and tax offenses.

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