The evidence by attorneys for the rabbi who allegedly bribed former police general Menashe Arviv is fabricated, according to a letter sent Friday by Arviv's attorneys to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
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Arviv, who resigned in the wake of the allegations against him by Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto and his associates, responded to each allegation in the letter.
For example, Pinto and his aides were said to have paid Arviv’s bill for 22 nights at the Metro Hotel in New York City. However, according to the letter, while the bill published in the media shows that Arviv stayed in the hotel from June 9 to June 14, his diary shows that he was in Washington on official business at that time. Documentation of his schedule was appended to the letter. “The bill is obviously forged,” his attorneys wrote.
In the letter, Arviv’s attorneys, Gideon Fischer and Yehoshua Resnik, say he stayed one night at the hotel, which is owned by Ben-Zion Suki, a relative of Pinto, and paid for himself.
Fischer and Resnik said they will be filing a police complaint in the coming days against Pinto and the associates who signed the incriminating affidavits against Arviv, charging them with forging documents, giving false affidavits, fabricating evidence, suborning witnesses and obstruction of justice.
Copies of the letter were sent to Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and to Uri Carmel, head of the unit in the Justice Ministry that investigates police misconduct.
In the letter, Arviv’s attorneys also mention a polygraph test he underwent at a private institute that shows he was telling the truth when he said he had received no money or benefits from Pinto or Pinto’s associates, nor had he stayed at the Metro Hotel without paying for himself.
Weinstein has affidavits and other documents from Pinto's associates maintaining that they helped purchase airline tickets for Arviv’s son and daughter-in-law, helped the couple obtain a United States green card, hired a lawyer to help them obtain a visa and gave them $2,000 a month. Arviv’s son, Tzachi Arviv, has denied the claims, saying that he and his wife did not need such assistance, because they had been sent by his wife’s parents to study in the U.S. by means of an Australian work visa. Arviv says his son, who is now living in Australia, passed a polygraph test, the results of which were given to Weinstein.
The rabbi’s aides also said Pinto arranged for a discount on an apartment purchased by Arviv in north Tel Aviv. Arviv’s attorneys countered by saying he never purchased an apartment in Tel Aviv and lives in a rented apartment.
The letter goes on to say: “Rabbi Pinto and his associates are inventing wicked lies with regard to ‘benefits,’ in an attempt to postpone the rabbi’s arrival in Israel to stand trial for his alleged crimes, whether he returns in keeping with the decision of the attorney general or whether an extradition order is required. The tragedy in this case is that the state allowed a criminal, as you yourselves have called him, to delay his appearance in court by boldfaced lies, in such a way that he managed to cause a decorated major general to resign, although he had committed no offenses.”
The letter reiterated Arviv’s call to be summoned for questioning so he could provide his version of events.
Pinto’s attorneys, Eli Zohar, Roy Blecher and Moshe Mazor responded: “Maj. Gen. Arviv’s claims against Rabbi Pinto are useless. Anyone with eyes in his head understands that Maj. Gen. Arviv’s resignation from the police was not a noble act but a desperate one, by a person who wants to avoid an investigation at all costs. The letter by his representatives should be regarded in this light. We have no doubt that the attorney general and the state prosecutor will find a way to immediately order Maj. Gen. Arviv’s investigation by the unit that investigates police misconduct. Then the whole truth will come out.”