Moti Malcha - Tomer Appelbaum
Mayor of Kiryat Malachi, Motti Malka, brought into court on charges of rape and bribery. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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The mayor of Kiryat Malakhi was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of rape, extortion, corruption and taking bribes.

Eight others, including the mayor's son, were also arrested in the city on Wednesday.

Mayor Motti Malka is suspected of raping, harassing and abusing a municipal employee, after the consensual affair they had been having ended in May 2010. The woman said she had been warned she would be harmed if she complained of the rape.

The mayor is also suspected of receiving sexual favors from a single mother in exchange for reduced city tax rates, and taking bribes from contractors. In one case, Malka was allegedly given an apartment by a contractor in exchange for various benefits.

The mayor's son, Shahar, is suspected of extorting a municipal council member.

The Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court on Wednesday extended Malka's remand by three days.

Malka's attorneys Avi Himi and Zion Amir said in court the woman who had complained of rape had obsessively pursued Malka, who wasn't interested in her. The attorneys asked the court to slap a publication ban on the details of the inquiry, including Malka's name, but the Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court ruled the public had a right to know.

The court also said it's in the interest of the investigation to publicize the case, as other victims and complainants may come forward.

The arrests followed a covert police investigation into allegations of several incidents of rape and extortion in Kiryat Malakhi.

Read this article in Hebrew