State May Indict Ramat Gan Mayor for Corruption Allegations

Attorney General recommends indictment of Mayor Zvi Bar on charges including accepting bribes and money laundering; local opposition leader calls for his 'immediate resignation.'

Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior

The finance division of the Attorney General's office announced Tuesday that, following Attorney General Moshe Lador's recommendation, they may indict Ramat Gan Mayor Zvi Bar.

Bar is suspected of accepting bribes, as well as a long line of other charges that include money laundering, fraud and breach of trust, forgery, obstruction of justice and income tax violations between the years 2003-2008.

Zvi Bar.Credit: Ofer Vaknin

Following the publication of the state attorney's intention to serve Bar with the indictment, the head of the 'Green Ramat Gan' opposition faction, Israel Zinger, called for Bar's immediate resignation.

"Today is a sad day for the city and its inhabitants," said Zinger. "The residents of this city deserve a full-time mayor, free of any suspicion or stain on his reputation, who can develop the city for the benefit of its inhabitants. This is not something you can do, while you are busy in a war to prove your innocence. And I, along with the rest of the city residents, hope that your innocence is indeed proved."

Bar has announced that he will not resign. The Ramat Gan Municipal Authority stated that "Zvi Bar's hands are clean. The mayor does not intend to resign, he is not required by law to resign, and during the legal proceedings that will be forced on him, he will continue to work hard for Ramat Gan and its citizens."

The Ramat Gan municipality claimed that the State Attorney's office has created a "sensation" and is trying to convict Bar through the media before the trial has even taken place. It said that freezing his assets over the Passover holiday, before the Mayor had even been called to a hearing was simply "damage for the sake of damage." The Municipality also said that the Mayor welcomed the opportunity to clear his name "once and for all of 22 years of slander and lies."

In November last year, Bar resigned as chief of the Local Planning and Building Committee, after police recommended that he accepted a bribe from building contractors. At the time, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss harshly criticized the conduct of the Ramat Gan planning committee for what he called a lack of transparency.

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