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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Rape charges against Kiryat Malakhi Mayor Moti Malka are to be dropped, the southern district prosecutor said on Wednesday. However, he will be charged, pending the outcome of a hearing, with two counts of indecent acts against the complainants and with taking a bribe from contractors.

The prosecution said it was dropping the rape charges due to lack of evidence.

One of the two women claiming to have been raped by Malka said she had been Malka's subordinate and that she had had a consensual affair with him, but that when it was broken off in May 2010, he forced himself on her, harassed and abused her.

"After close scrutiny of the matter, it was decided that no indictment should be brought against Malka on the charge of rape because of the lack of reasonable possibility of obtaining a conviction."

"I'm simply in shock over the decision. The police sat with me for months. I feel crushed," said the woman. The charges against Malka's deputy, Yossi Sulimani, for aiding and abetting the offenses, were also dropped.

The state prosecutor is to preside at the pre-indictment hearing.

Malka's attorney, Avi Himi, said on Wednesday that he "very much appreciates the thorough and professional work of the southern district prosecutor and the team of lawyers in this case," and called their decision "brave."

Last month the Petah Tikva District Court ruled that Sulimani and Malka could return to their posts, because as senior municipal executives their work affected the well-being of the residents. However, the court also ruled that they could not enter the municipality building.