Monday, July 26, 2021

Former deputy mayor of Jerusalem indicted in bribery case

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Prosecutors on Thursday indicted a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem over suspicions he pocketed bribes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of shekels.

The bribery charge against Meir Turgeman stems from allegations he received more than NIS 350,000 (over $107,000) in illicit payments while serving as chairman of the capital’s Planning and Building Committee in exchange for advancing businessmen’s interests.

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The indictment also hit Turgeman with charges of fraud, breach of trust and theft by a public official for alleged tax offenses totaling some NIS 60,000 (around $18,500).

Five other people have been charged in the case, including Turgeman’s son Yitzhak, who is accused of receiving a bribe together with his father. Businessmen Moshe Haba, David Buzaglo and Laurent Levy have been indicted for giving a bribe. David Kleiner, an employee of Haba’s, was charged with fraud and breach of trust.

The charges came after prosecutors told Turgeman last summer that they intended to indict him, pending a hearing.

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Turgeman was arrested in March 2018 and didn’t run in municipal elections later that year to retain his spot on the City Council. First elected to the city council in the late 1990s, Turgeman was appointed deputy mayor after running on then-mayor Nir Barkat’s slate in the 2013 municipal elections. He is a member of the ruling Likud party.

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