Police Corruption Unit Takes Over High-profile Bribery Investigation

Indictments expected to be filed tomorrow against Fisher and former Lahav 433 officer Eran Malka.

Moti Milrod

The investigation of Ronel Fisher, a lawyer suspected of bribing police officers, will be handed over to the police corruption unit, known as Lahav 433, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said yesterday.

The decision to transfer the investigation was made in light of the suspicions against former Tel Aviv prosecutor Ruth David, a partner in Fisher’s law office. David is suspected of giving and facilitating bribes, obstructing justice and committing ethics violations.

The Justice Ministry’s police investigation department will continue to investigate the police officers allegedly involved in the Fisher-David affair.

“This is a big investigation with extensive implications and should be handled by the police’s top units,” Danino said.

Senior police officials said that the investigation began with suspicions against retired Supt. Eran Malka, of the Lahav 433 unit, but has now expanded beyond the jurisdiction of the police investigation department. Malka allegedly provided Fisher with information about investigations against Fisher’s clients in return for bribes.

Lahav 433 will look into suspicions that David was involved in wrongdoing in cases she handled during her tenure as prosecutor in the Tel Aviv Prosecutor’s Office. The police investigation department is expected to file indictments tomorrow against Fisher and Malka for receiving and mediating a bribe, fraud and obstruction of justice.

The Fisher case broke when Alon Hassan, former head of the Ashdod Port workers’ union, recorded his lawyer, Fisher, asking for money in exchange for inside information about the police investigation against him.

Malka is the officer suspected of providing Fisher with information about the investigation against Hassan. Malka is also suspected of bribing other police officers and obstructing the investigation.

The police investigation department suspects that Fisher offered information he received from Malka to several of his clients, including businessmen and people in senior public positions.

A senior worker in Fisher’s law office has turned state’s witness and is expected to testify against Fisher. Another three lawyers from the office are suspected of obstructing the investigation.

Among those suspected of paying Fisher for information about investigations against them are former Maariv publisher and editor Ofer Nimrodi, contractors Yosef and Aviv Nahmias and a former senior official at the Netivei Israel National Transport Infrastructure Company.

Professor Yoram Barak of the Abarbanel Mental Health Center in Bat Yam is suspected of obstructing the investigation. Other senior police officers are also allegedly involved in the affair.