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July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Bribery’

Olmert’s Lawyers Claims $500,000 Bribe Not Such a Big Deal

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

The judge who will sentence former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for bribery admonished his lawyer for claiming that the conviction over %400,000 of money is only small change.

The prosecution on Monday asked the court to sentence Olmert to six years in jail and fine him more than $300,000.

Olmert’s attorneys, as expected, asked for a much lighter punishment, but his lawyer’s comment on the sum of the bribes says a lot about the workings of the minds of the political-legal-business establishment that has its hands in the taxpayers’ pockets.

Olmert took the stand to deny his guilt, and he no doubt believes he did nothing wrong because bribes are simply a means to justify the end of building businesses and personal empires in Israel. It is something like so-called religious leaders taking bribes to promote yeshivas and charities, all in the “name of God.”

Somewhere between the lines, there seems to be a violation of the Third Commandment, “You shalt not take the name of God in vain,” but let’s leave that for Him to decide.

Eli Zohar, one of Olmert’s attorneys, told the court that his poor and mistreated client “already has seen punished” by the heartless media that have caused him “insufferable damage” and “blackened his image,” which already was blacker than nothingness except for the die-hard leftist media and politicians who held out hope that the world can survive upside down.

The conviction, of course, was justice at its worst according to Olmert, partly because of the testimony of his former close aide Shuli Zakan, who finally decided it would be best to tell the truth – or as Olmert claims, to frame him – and spend a few less years in jail.

Olmert accused the media of creating a circus out of her testimony and making it impossible for him to receive a fair trial. He is right if the definition of a fair trial is “not guilty.”

Zohar had the audacity to tell the court that Olmert was charged with four counts of bribery but was convicted “only” on two charges,

What a righteous person! Such a great Tzadik, he is.

Not only that, but Zohar also stated that the $500,000 Olmert pocketed illegally is not such a significant sum of money. That just goes to show what is “big” money for the political-legal-business complex.

What’s half a million dollars? That was the attitude of Ephron, the landowner in Biblical Hebron when he negotiated with Avraham over the sale of the Cave Of the Patriarchs to bury Sarah.

The Arab understanding of “negotiations” hasn’t changed from then through today. After congenial talks in which Ephron told Avraham to take the land and after Avraham said, “Look, I know this game. How much do you want?” Ephron kept a straight face and said, “Oh, just some symbolic price, like 400 shekels of silver.” By some estimates, that is around $40,000 in today’s currency.

The judge was taken aback by Zohar’s comment and told him, “What are you talking about. That is a huge sum of money. This is not 20,000 shekels and not 50,000 shekels. I find it difficult accept your argument.”

In other words, Olmert is headed for the slammer – except for one big detail. After his sentencing May 13, He will appeal to the Supreme Court, and unless the justices break a record and give the case the priority it should have, Olmert may be out of jail for months or more.

Police Want Rabbi Metzger on Trial for Bribery Charges

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Police from Israel’s Major Crime Unit have recommended that former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger be put on trial for charges of bribery, money laundering and breach of public trust.

The recommendation revealed more details of alleged criminal violations, including the rabbi’s allegedly pocketing money for his participation in a ceremony in Poland marking 70 years since the Warsaw Ghetto Rebellion and for speeding up conversions.

As previously reported, the rabbi also is accused of putting in his personal pocket half of funds that were raised for charities, including seminaries and a yeshiva.

Court Orders New Elections in Beit Shemesh

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

The Jewish Home party won its day in court on Thursday with an administration court ruling that the October 22 elections for the Beit Shemesh mayor and city council are invalid because of suspected fraud. The court ordered a new vote.

Jewish Home mayoral candidate lost the election by 956 votes to Shas party incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul.

Shortly before the voting, police raid several homes and found identification cards that were in the hands of impersonators, and investigators said there is evidence of widespread fraud and suspicion of possible organized crime behind the forgeries.

Amazingly, Mayor Abutbul’s attorney told the court that, sure, there were some forgeries, but “you have to prove that all of the votes [separating Abutbul and Cohen] were invalid in order to cancel the elections. This is simple math. The police raided several homes and caught 120 identification cards, 36 of which were used to vote illegally. These are the facts, and the rest is speculation.”

Nice try, but no go, said the court. It is not just speculation; it is evidence that the foul play“went to the roots of the elections,” the court’s judges wrote in their ruling. It noted that “public trust collapsed.”

Shas is not known for clean politics. Neither is the Likud, but Shas’ problem is that it gets caught more often. It does not have the finesse of the Ashkenazi elite to be crooked and get away with it.

Just ask Aryeh Deri, who has returned to head the party after time ran out on his not being able to hold public office by virtue of his conviction and prison sentence for bribery, which politicians, religious and secular, think is not illegal if is a mitzvah.

Thursday’s decision was victory for the Jewish Home party, which already tastes an electoral victory in the re-run of the votes. A date has not yet been announced, but Beit Shemesh residents are anxious to vote again.

The city has been severely divided over religion. A radical Haredi cult has made life miserable for many national religious families. Many secular residents are furious over the increasing Haredi influence, let alone the radicals who want separate sidewalks for men and women.

A relatively large number of Americans live in Beit Shemesh, located a few miles west of Jerusalem. One of them is Dov Lipman, who now is a Knesset Member for the Yesh Atid party.

Rabbi Metzger Released from Jail, Under House Arrest on Heavy Bond

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

An Israel court has released former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger from jail but ordered him under house arrest with a bond of nearly $425,000. The court in Rishon LeTzion, south of Tel Aviv, told the rabbi not to leave the country or talk to the media for six months.

Besides facing charges of bribery and money laundering, he also is suspected of obstructing justice by allegedly offering a bribe to an acquaintance not to testify against him.

Police arrested him last week for the second time this year as a result of an undercover probe millions of dollars of charity money, a large part of which he allegedly pocketed.

Queens State Senator Charged with Bribery

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Six New York politicians, including Queens State Sen. Malcolm Smith, have been charged with bribery scheme aimed at placing Smith, a Democrat, as the Republican nominee for mayor.

Others who were charged include New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran, a Democrat from Queens, and Republican Party officials Vincent Tabone and Joseph Savino.

“A show-me-the-money culture seems to pervade every level of New York government,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement, calling the charges “an unappetizing smorgasbord of graft and greed involving six officials who together built a corridor of corruption stretching from Queens and the Bronx to Rockland County and all the way up to Albany itself.”

Smith and the other defendants are to appear in court on Tuesday to face six charges of fraud and conspiracy. Smith’s lawyer said that his client denies all the charges.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/ny/queens-state-senator-charged-with-bribery/2013/04/02/

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