The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Sunday permitted the release of the name of the police officer suspected of bribery and obstructing justice in the case of attorney Ronel Fisher: retired Superintendent Eran Malka, who served in the Lahav 443 investigations unit. Lahav 433, popularly known as Israel’s FBI, is a unit incorporating the fraud, financial and serious and international crimes units.
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The court also decided on Sunday to extend the remand of Fisher and Malka, both of whom were arrested and questioned over the past few days, for another five days.
It was revealed in recent days that the prosecution has enlisted a state’s witness in the case against Fisher, who is suspected of bribing police officers in return for information he used in defending his clients. The witness was Fisher’s former right-hand woman in his law office, and she told investigators from the police unit for investigating police officers, which is investigating the allegations, about other cases in which senior police officers were allegedly involved, including officers from the police’s leading investigative units that also deal with organized crime.
Judge Joya Skappa-Shapiro said the agreement with the state’s witness had changed the picture, and in light of the new information she extended Fisher’s remand.
Fisher’s lawyer Keren Shapira objected to the extended remand and said he has so far spent 17 days in jail “in affairs in which there is nothing new.” Shapira said he was already questioned about them when he was first arrested last July, and since then he has been summoned for questioning many times and has always appeared, and never left the country. “If he wanted to obstruct justice he could have done so,” she said.
Fisher, a well-known attorney, was originally arrested on suspicions relating to the case of former Ashdod Port union chief Alon Hassan. Fisher is suspected of asking Hassan, who is the target of several ongoing criminal investigations, for money to pay off certain police officials in return for having the investigations dropped.
A Justice Ministry representative told the court that the investigation requires Fisher’s arrest and that he had previously tried to obstruct the inquiry.
Malka’s lawyers declined to comment.