Police Expected to Recommend Indicting Likud MK for Bribery, Other Charges

David Bitan allegedly took hundreds of thousands of shekels in bribes when he was deputy mayor of Rishon Letzion, also suspected of money laundering and breach of trust

David Bitan at the Likud campaign launch in Ramat Gan, March 4, 2019.
Moti Milrod

The police will likely recommend the indictment of Likud lawmaker David Bitan on suspicion of multiple incidents of bribery. The investigation is expected to continue until the April 9 election, after which the case and its evidence will be transferred to the prosecution.

At the center of the investigation are alleged reciprocal connections that Bitan forged in the past with business figures who are linked to covering debt that Bitan amassed while he served as deputy mayor of Rishon Letzion. Bitan is suspected of collecting hundreds of thousands of shekels in bribes from businesspeople through his close associate Moshe Yosef, who has turned state's evidence.

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Police are also expected to announce that there is evidence that Bitan was involved in other crimes, among them breach of trust, taxes and money laundering. As such, they have brought on another figure to turn state's evidence in an additional affair.

Bitan responded to these reports on Tuesday evening: "There's no decision, it's an information leak. From the first day of the investigation, the police said that this would be their recommendation. Then what are you investigating?"