David Appel, Moti Kimche
David Appel Photo by Moti Kimche
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The prosecution in the trial of businessman David Appel and former Lod mayor Benny Regev appealed yesterday in a bid to have their sentences upped. Appel, Regev and Appel's financial manager Benny Tavin, who was also included in the appeal, were sentenced in April to 18 months to 2 years in prison on bribery convictions stemming from Appel's real-estate activities.

The prosecution said yesterday the original sentencing was far too lenient. "The respondents have been convicted in one of the graves, most blatant bribery affairs to have taken place in Israel ... the moral blemish of their act and their contribution to the moral destruction they sowed about them demand a real increase in their punishment," the prosecutors wrote to the Tel Aviv District Court.

Appel was convicting of bribing Regev, former head of the Givat Shmuel local council Zamir Ben Ari, and senior Israel Land Administration official, Oded Tal, with NIS 1.4 million, to promote his real estate interests under their authority.

The businessman was sentenced to pay NIS 1 million and serve eighteen months in prison. Regev was also sentenced to eighteen months in jail, but was not fined due to his financial situation. In yesterday's appeal the prosecution said no evidence of his financial state was presented, and requested a fine be added to the prison sentence.

Tavin was sentenced to two years in prison, NIS 50,000 fine and received a further suspended sentence of eighteen months.

The Tel Aviv District Court is expected to hear today a request by Appel to postpone the beginning of his prison term. A similar request was already rejected by the court.