Retired Israeli Soccer Star, ex-Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Face Possible Bribery Indictment

Athlete-turned-businessman Haim Revivo is suspected of wrongdoing in connection with a real estate project, in a probe that's an offshoot of an investigation into Likud lawmaker

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Haim Revivo, right, a former Israeli soccer star now a real estate developer.
Haim Revivo, right, a former Israeli soccer star now a real estate developer.Credit: Nir Keidar

Retired soccer star Haim Revivo, a former Tel Aviv deputy mayor and a Likud party activist face a possible indictment as part of an alleged real estate bribery scheme, the prosecutor’s office said Tuesday.

After a pre-indictment hearing, the prosecution will make a final decision on whether to file charges. The probe is an offshoot of an investigation into Likud Knesset member David Bitan.

Former Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Arnon Giladi is suspected of bribe-taking, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and obstruction of justice, while Revivo is suspected of paying a 10,000-shekel ($2,900) bribe to advance a real estate project of his. The Likud activist, Yosef Ra’anan, is suspected of money laundering.

According to the draft indictment, Giladi asked for money from three real estate developers, including Revivo, whom he had helped obtain approval at Tel Aviv City Hall. The deputy mayor is suspected of telling the three that the money would go to a fictitious organization that helped residents cope with the presence of asylum seekers in south Tel Aviv.

According to the draft indictment, Giladi recruited Ra’anan, the Likud activist, to collect the funds; he collected some 30,000 shekels, which he deposited in a bank account that was secretly managed by Giladi to finance his political activity.

From 1990 to 2004, Revivo, a midfielder, played for a number of Israeli teams as well as for Spain’s RC Celta de Vigo and Turkey’s Fenerbahce and Galatasaray. He played for the Israeli national team from 1992 to 2004.

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