Miriam Feirberg-Ikar

Netanya mayor arrested after turning herself in for questioning

After three hours of questioning, the police detained Miriam Feirberg-Ikar and other family members and associates relating to the massive corruption in her city; the mayor lost control during her remand hearing

It only took three hours until the Israel Police Lahav 443 investigations unit was convinced. At 10:00am, Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg-Ikar was went to the unit's offices in Lod of her own volition to be questioned about the massive corruption case in her city.



By 1:00pm, the investigators were already convinced – they had all of the incriminating documents already, and arrested the influential and powerful mayor. Feirberg was taken in a police car to the Rishon LeZion district court where her remand was extended until Tuesday.


Feirberg-Ikar in extended remand

Feirberg-Ikar is at the center of a massive corruption case which has shook Netanya over the last several days, and which has seen eight suspects arrested. Amongst them include high-ranking Netanya Municipality officials and property developers who paid bribes to enable them to obtain building permits from the city.

Miriam Feirberg-Ikar (Photo: Zvika Tishler)
Miriam Feirberg-Ikar (Photo: Zvika Tishler)


In addition to this, Feirberg-Ikar's son Tsafrir was detained, along with property developer Avraham Tshuva, Avraham Gogig – who served as Feirberg-Ikar's lawyer – and architecht Gabi Tatro. The police also extended the remand of Feirberg-Ikar's ex-husband Eliyahu Feirberg, amongst others.


'Why did you bring me here?'

Feirberg-Ikar found it difficult to control herself during the heated hearing. "Why didn't you investigate me?" she yelled. "Why didn't you hit me with the hard questions? Why did you bring me here??"


"I said that I'm ready to be interrogated for hours – all night long," she continued yelling. "Everything I did was legal, I have nothing to hide."


The judge felt he needed to intervene at that point. "Madame, I understand the difficult situation you're in right now, but please let your lawyer conduct the trial."


Despite the court drama, the judge was not convinced. "After having examined the various documents, I believe there is a reasonable suspicion that links the allegations to each person" he said.


"On can say that the materials exposed over the course of the investigation creates an uneasy picture, according to which a number of high ranking officials within the Netanya municipality, including the mayor, are connected to people who paid bribes and gave benefits to promote their building projects," he continued.


Coral luxury apartments (Photo: Idan Erez)
Coral luxury apartments (Photo: Idan Erez)


Due to the fear of obstruction of justice, the mayor has had her remand extended, as have the rest of the defendants involved in the case.


The center of the controversy is centered on the Coral luxury housing development. Mayor Feirberg is suspected of receiving a 2.5 percent stake in the project a decade ago, and used her lawyer to hold approximately $84,000. Over the years, Feirber-Ikarg granted the project any permit the builders requested.


The builders were even were able to change the zoning of the area from hotel to residential, something which boosted the value of the buildings and significantly increased the money Feirberg-Ikar was to receive. Her share in the project is now estimated to be worth approximately NIS 5 million.


Feriberg-Ikar's defense attorney Nati Simchoni claims that the entire issue is about a "formal signing" of building permits only, and that Feirberg-Ikar didn’t know about the percent she owned of the land. She also claimed that the contact made between her lawyer and the contractors was done so that there would be no illegal direct contact between here and the contractors. According to the defense attorney, the contractors had no idea that Feirberg-Ikar had a stake in the project.



פרסום ראשון: 09.08.16, 18:14
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