An Israeli diplomat serving in the country of Georgia has been indicted by the government's civil service authorities after she and her husband, also an embassy staffer, purchased land in violation of the civil service regulations.
The Israeli diplomat has been employed by the Foreign Ministry since 1986, and currently serves as a the administrative officer at the embassy in the capital, Tbilisi.
Investigators were sent to Georgia to look into the matter found the couple had purchased land from a private entity for $49,000, putting down about $12,000 in cash, with their Israeli friends providing the remaining sum.
Since the law in Georgia prohibits the transfer of ownership of agricultural land to foreign citizens, the couple allegedly registered the land under the name of the consul's friend who possesses a Georgian citizenship.
The construction work began around the beginning of 2019, and was nearly complete by January 2021. The estimated cost of the construction was around NIS 300,000.
"The accused was the most active individual in the purchasing and construction processes, built for her the use of her family and for the couple's partners," the indictment read. "She was in contact with the owners of the land and with local contractors, visited the plots and transferred funds to several different entities."
Apparently, in order to cover up their actions, the couple named their son as the owner on the purchasing documents. In the beginning of 2021, they purchased additional agricultural land and later sold it to an Israeli woman for $17,500.
The list of prosecution witnesses includes, among others, the Israeli ambassador to Georgia, Ran Gidor.
"We take the charges detailed in the indictment seriously, and are cooperate with the disciplinary action," said the Foreign Ministry. "We will wait for the court's decision."
In response to the charge, the diplomat claimed to have evidence that can prove her innocence. "The allegations against me stem from a personal conflict, and in response to the fact that I did not agree to an effort of financial extortion by a civilian entity. I am sure that the court will recognize my innocence," she said.