Photo: Party Spokesman
Ilan Shohat
Photo: Party Spokesman

Safed Mayor arrested for corruption

Police arrived at Shohat's home at 6:00 in the morning where they seized documents, computers and cell phones as part of investigation into fraud, bribery, corruption and theft.

Mayor of Safed, Ilan Shohat, 44, was arrested by police Monday morning on charges of bribery, theft, corruption, fraud and other crimes. By the afternoon, the Haifa District Court had already decided to extend Shohat's remand by three days.



Police arrived at Shohat's home at 6:00 in the morning where they seized documents, computers and cell phones. Shohat is accused of accepting bribes worth hundreds of thousands of shekels.


Ilan Shohat (Photo: Party Spokesman) (Photo: Party Spokesman)
Ilan Shohat (Photo: Party Spokesman)


In addition to Shohat, several other suspects including city employees and businessmen are expected to have their remand extended.


Superintendent Ze'ev Hakim, from an anti-corruption police taskforce, said that Shohat is involved in six different cases, the first of which is already several years old and the others being more recent.


Hakim also added that there is cause for concern with Shohat being the mayor of a small city due to his standing and the effect it can have on witnesses and the possibility Shohat may even be able to disrupt the investigation.


Police outside of the Safed Municipality Monday (Photo: Avihu Shapira) (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Police outside of the Safed Municipality Monday (Photo: Avihu Shapira)


"We are at the stage where the court has to examine whether there is reasonable suspicion that he can. For us there is reasonable suspicion and beyond", said Hakim. "Everywhere except in custody, the suspect could have a serious effect on witnesses."


Shohat's lawyer, Ruth Litvak, questioned whether police checked Shohat's bank accounts and she noted that he took out a mortgage to finance his house. She further requested that the judge consider alternatives to detention at this point.


Shohat's home
Shohat's home


"The charges are bloated and so are the number of activities they're alleging. Mr. Shohat has been cooperating from the moment investigators got to home. Due to the nature of his job, he is exposed to criticism and not everyone loves everything he does. This detention is meant to break his spirit and nothing more. He is not only the mayor, but a family man with no criminal record. The only reason is because it is the most convenient for the police. Detention is a lifelong companion. He is cooperating and will continue to do so, he wants to present his side."


Judge Ziv Arieli responded that he believes there is a reasonable suspicion that Shohat can influence the proceedings, saying, "There is definitely concern for it due passing bribes and receiving bribes behind closed doors, which blurs coverage. In the case of this suspect, it would appear that he has engaged in activities he has deliberately attempted to conceal and camouflage. The threat is real because the witnesses who need to be investigated can't ignore the extent of the suspect's potential impact on them."


פרסום ראשון: 02.07.17, 08:29
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