Israeli Mayor, Senior Official Arrested on Suspicions of Corruption

Rami Greenberg, mayor of Petah Tikva, is suspected of receiving hundreds of thousands of shekels from people with business interests in exchange for advancing their interests

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Petah Tikva Mayor Rami Greenberg.
Petah Tikva Mayor Rami Greenberg.Credit: Eyal Toueg
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

Petah Tikva Mayor Rami Greenberg and the city's director-general were arrested Wednesday on suspicions of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Law enforcement officials suspect that in 2018, while the mayor was campaigning for his current position, he received hundreds of thousands of shekels from people with business interests in the city and promised to advance their interests in return.

Also on Wednesday, Rishon Letzion Magistrate’s Court extended by six days the detention of the mayor and Director-General Yaniv Benita, as well as two businessmen suspected of giving the bribes, Moshe Saadon and Ron Omsi.

The police say they have listened to conversations between the mayor and the other three suspects for months, and that the investigation has been ongoing for about a year. According to testimony from Omsi given on Wednesday, the police are attempting to convince him to become a state witness against Greenberg.

Greenberg’s attorney, Ofer Bartel, said the mayor is cooperating with the investigation. Benita’s attorney, Uri Korev, likewise said his client is cooperating and added that there was no specific suspicion cast on the director-general “other than the falsification of articles of law, without any detail.”

The judge in the case rejected a response to a request to photograph Greenberg, saying there is “no need to take pictures of him in his most humiliating moment.”

The suspects are also accused of false corporate reporting, money laundering and tax law offenses.

The investigation is being conducted by the Lahav 433 anti-fraud police unit in cooperation with the Israel Tax Authority and the State Prosecutor’s Office.

In a separate case, a claim said Greenberg, issuing threats via his associates, would only release money budgeted to certain municipal bodies if his opponents there were fired or transferred to other positions.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott