Key Suspect in Holyland Corruption Case Released to House Arrest for 20 Days

Meir Rabin, considered the primary intermediary in the Holyland affair, was released to house arrest yesterday after being held in custody for 34 days. Rabin was released to his Bnei Brak home for 20 days.

Meir Rabin arriving at his Bnei Brak home from court
Nir Kafri

For the first time since the story broke, none of the suspects are in custody.

"The Holyland affair is not an 'Olmert affair,' like the case of the Investment Center. This is a huge bribery case and Olmert's name is linked to various elements of it," a law enforcement source told Haaretz yesterday. The comments related to Olmert's alleged role in the Holyland development project in Jerusalem, and the anticipated police questioning of his involvement.

The source also told Haaretz yesterday that the fact that Rabin - who is linked to most of the suspects who were arrested - was released to house arrest suggests that all of the evidence linking him to the others has been brought before each of the suspects.

The source added that police suspect that some of Rabin's relatives were also involved in his activities, and that some even took an active part in them.

Rabin is alleged to have served as a key intermediary in the transfer of bribes in various projects, including Holyland in Jerusalem.

He is also believed to have been behind the identification and recruitment of public officials who would be willing to assist in advancing development projects.

Defense attorneys for Rabin said yesterday that they learned the prosecution intends to indict their client, but said it had not yet been done because it would require them to expose investigation materials which would potentially undermine the progress of the investigation.

Meanwhile, in Beit Shemesh

Also yesterday, the director of the Beit Shemesh municipality, Motti Hota, who served for a decade as the district committee chairman for planning and construction in Jerusalem, was released to house arrest. He is suspected of having received bribes.

"The police have been manipulating the room they were granted by authorities to arrest suspects in the case," Hota's defense attorney, Avi Udiz, said.

He claimed that during questioning conducted over the five days his client was under arrest, the investigators never presented him with any material that actually links him to having received bribes.