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Photo: Niv Calderon
Shula Zaken
Photo: Niv Calderon
Jacky Matza
Photo: Tomeriko
State files charges in Tax Authority case
Former Tax Authority chief Jacky Matza, former Olmert bureau chief Shula Zaken, six others to face fraud, bribery and breach of trust charges. State opts to try Zaken separately from others; defendants expected to testify against one another

The State Prosecutor's Office filed Thursday criminal charges against the eight suspects in the Tax Authority bribery case.

 

The defendants in the case include former Israel Tax Authority (ITA) chief Jacky Matza, Shula Zaken, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's bureau chief, businessmen Kobi Ben Gur and Yoram Karashi – who is Zaken's brother – and ITA officials Yigal Saar, Gidi Bar Zakai and Shmuel Bobrov.

The prosecution chose to split the trial: Zaken was indicted before the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, while the Petah Tikva District Court was chosen to hear the case of "the State vs. Jacky Matza and others."

 

All eight face a variety of fraud, bribery and breach of trust charges. Tax Authority officials are accused of accepting bribed form businessmen Ben Gur and Karashi, who "effectively 'bought' positions within the ITA."

 

Zaken is accused of abusing her position in the Prime Minister's Office, and before that in the Treasury, and brokering the bribes, in order to advance her brother's personal interests.

 

Matza is accused of breach of trust, pertaining to his naming Karashi and Ben Gur's confidants to high-ranking positions within the Tax Authority.

 

The Tax Authority bribery scandal began in 2007, after the National Fraud Unit gathered enough evidence to substantiate a raid of Zaken and Matza's homes.

 

The course of the trial is likely to pit the defendant against each other, as they are expected to testify  in the respective trials.

 

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