Former Tel Aviv Prosecutor, Ex-cop and Lawyer Indicted for Graft

After a nine-month investigation and the breaking into a smartphone, Ruth David, Eran Malka and Ronel Fisher have been charged, with Malka allegedly confessing.

Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel
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Former Tel Aviv prosecutor Ruth David arrives in court, Jerusalem, May 6, 2015.
Former Tel Aviv prosecutor Ruth David arrives in court, Jerusalem, May 6, 2015.Credit: Emil Salman
Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel

Former Tel Aviv prosecutor Ruth David, retired police superintendant Eran Malka and attorney Ronel Fisher were indicted Thursday in a wide-ranging corruption case involving bribery, fraud and obstruction of justice.

In a Jerusalem court, Malka and Fisher have been charged with fraud and taking bribes on several occasions. The police have asked that Malka and Fisher be detained for the duration of the proceedings.

According to this request by the police, Malka has confessed to most of the charges and there is evidence that corroborates the charges.

Malka has been charged with providing information on investigations in return for money he allegedly gave Fisher. The attorney allegedly passed this information on to potential clients and obstructed investigations against the accused for large sums.

Attorney Ronel Fisher.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

According to the indictment, Fisher was assisted by David, the former Tel Aviv prosecutor who became a partner in Fisher’s law firm after retiring from public office. David is charged with obstructing justice on two occasions and receiving illicitly obtained property.

Eran Malka (center) in court. Credit: Tali Meir

A number of Fisher’s clients have also been charged with bribing him to obtain information, or to get the police to close cases against them.

The key witness against Fisher and Malka is Fisher’s secretary, who turned state’s witness. She testified that Malka, a senior officer in the elite police investigation unit Lahav 433, passed classified information about police investigations on to Fisher for money.

Malka allegedly sent this information to an email address opened for that purpose and notified Fisher’s secretary via the WhatsApp messaging service. The secretary allegedly printed out the information and gave it to Fisher or left it in his office.

According to the indictment, Fisher would try to impress potential clients with this information, which included warnings about expected arrests and questions the police were planning to ask suspects.

Fisher allegedly demanded money on top of his lawyer’s fees. He allegedly shared these funds with Malka after deducting a share for his secretary. Fisher told his clients he could get the police to close cases or ease suspicions due to his connections with senior police officers.

Most of Fisher’s and Malka’s offenses came to light in recent days when the police, after a nine-month effort, managed to glean information from Fisher’s smartphone. Fisher and his secretary had refused to give investigators the access code to their phones and the investigation almost stalled.

But two weeks ago, the police notified the secretary’s lawyer’s, apparently by mistake, that Fisher’s smartphone had been compromised. This prompted a meeting between David, Malka, Fisher and his secretary at Fisher’s house on what to do next.

At the meeting David allegedly advised the secretary how to behave when questioned by the police, telling her to feign a fainting spell. According to the indictment, David advised her not to cooperate with the police and warned Malka not to come to the meeting for fear he was being followed.

Last week, when David herself fainted at a court hearing to extend her custody, the police accused her of faking it.

A key figure in the indictment is Yair Biton, who controls the B. Yair construction firm. In 2012, the police searched for possible links between the firm and crime kingpin Yitzhak Abergil. Fisher was Biton’s lawyer, and both he and David were friends of Biton.

According to the indictment, Malka, who had joined the investigation team, gave Fisher information about the questions Biton would be asked by the police. Fisher and David allegedly traveled to Budapest to meet with Biton and give him an envelope with classified material about the investigation.

According to the indictment, Malka warned Biton that he was about to be arrested on May 7 last year and advised him to “find a heart problem and get hospitalized because on Wednesday morning he’s going to get a knock on the door.”

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