Ex-Ashdod Port Union Chief Alon Hassan to Be Indicted

Others will also be charged, in case that become a symbol of public-sector misconduct.

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Alon Hassan at Ashdod Port.
Alon Hassan at Ashdod Port.Credit: Ilya Melnikov
Yasmin Gueta
Jasmin Gueta

Alon Hassan, the former Ashdod Port union chief who has come to symbolize corruption and inefficiency in the public sector, will be charged with fraud, breach of trust and the illegal receipt of assets, after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein rejected his request that the investigation be reopened.

Other figures will also be indicted for corruption offenses at the state-owned port.

They include former Ashdod Port CEO Shuki Sagis, who will be charged with fraud, aggravated fraud and breach of trust. David Hassan, who is Alon’s cousin, as well as Yaniv Belter and Uri Belter, all of whom were partners in businesses Alon Hassan ran on the side, face charges of tax fraud, aggravated fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Alon HassanCredit: Moti Milrod

Dana Port Services & Logistics, a company controlled by Hassan, will be charged with bribery and money laundering offenses.

TheMarker has learned that after a hearing, during which prosecutors rejected all of the suspects’ counterclaims, Alon Hassan’s attorneys turned to Weinstein with a request to reopen the investigation. “The appeal was made as a last resort, so that a fully impartial examination can be conducted,” his lawyer Benny Katz said in a letter to the attorney general.

Katz asserted that the investigation against Hassan was tainted by former police Chief Inspector Eran Malka, who he alleged had manipulated the evidence.

“”The indictment against Alon Hassan constitutes a disregard for crude and blatant police investigation that was systematically tainted,” Katz’s letter said.

“Eran Malka saw it as nothing but a tool for personal gain ... including a betrayal of public trust, misuse of the trust of senior officials in the Southern District Prosecutor’s Office, routine breach of attorney-client privilege, corruption and financial greed on an unprecedented scale,” Katz said.

Alon Hassan was arrested nearly two years ago along with several other suspects, following a covert police investigation conducted in partnership with the Israel Tax Authority and the anti-money laundering authority.

Detectives claim Dan Services, which supplied Ashdod Port with operational and logistics services as well as environmental oversight, used unlawful means, including extortion, to pressure port customers, including major companies like Israel Chemicals and Nesher Israel Cement, to retain its services.

As part of the investigation, police conducted searches, questioned dozens of people and confiscated assets worth more than 13 million shekels ($3.3 million). Hassan was later suspended from his union position and barred from the port.

The investigation was complicated by the role played by Ronel Fisher, a well-known lawyer whom police suspected of soliciting money from Alon Hassan to be passed on to police officials to keep Hassan from being prosecuted.

Malka was convicted in October, as part of a plea bargain arrangement in which he turned state’s evidence, of bribery and other charges in the Jerusalem District Court, in part for passing information to Fisher.

Katz told Weinstein he objected to the fact that the same team Malka was on continued its investigation of Hassan even a different police unit opened an investigation into Malka himself.

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