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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Israel Police to Advise AG Not to Indict Isaac Herzog on Corruption

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Israel Police say they plan to advise Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to close the department’s investigation into the allegations of wrongdoing by Opposition Leader and MK Isaac Herzog.

News of the impending recommendation was broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 television news on Sunday night (April 24).

The probe into accusations of possible fundraising violations in Herzog’s 2013 campaign for Labor Party leadership by the Zionist Union leader began last month.

Herzog was questioned under caution by investigators on April 17, Channel 2 reported, and there have been no deliberations thus far on the case in the attorney general’s office.

Although police do not make the decision about whether or not to file an indictment, they can and often do make recommendations to the attorney general based on the evidence amassed during their investigation. The Israel Police LAHAV 433 branch is in charge of this investigation.

Hana Levi Julian

NYPD Caught in Crossfire While FBI Probes Mayor De Blasio’s Business Contacts

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

The New York Police Department’s top brass — as well as those in the lower echelons — are being questioned by the FBI in a probe that extends all the way to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The investigation developed as the result of two-year-old corruption probe that began with the 20-year head of a union representing NYC corrections officers, and a second individual who retired in 2014 as the police department’s top uniformed official.

The federal agency is now also focusing on two members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn who apparently have ties to the mayor, according to local sources. The specific allegations against the two are unclear.

Both allegedly raised a large amount of money for de Blasio’s mayoral election campaign and served on his inaugural committee in 2013. Neither has been charged with a particular crime, according to The New York Times.

In order to put the pieces together, FBI agents have questioned police officials from the very top of the food chain all the way down to a detective in Brooklyn’s 66th precinct, The New York Post reported Tuesday. That precinct is located in the heart of the deeply Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park.

The list of those questioned included police department chiefs, inspectors, captains and other police officials. A union head for top brass said members have been and still are cooperating with the probe. All have been told they are not the targets of this investigation; but if wrongdoing is uncovered, they could face administrative charges or dismissal. In such cases, “wrongdoing” can include acceptance of gifts, free meals or vacations and similar favors.

The investigation is being conducted with prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.

At least police detective has declined so far to answer questions before a federal grand jury that began hearing evidence in the case.

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton told reporters at an unrelated news briefing Tuesday that the unnamed officer has been stripped of his badge and weapon, and placed on modified assignment until the investigation wraps up.

Hana Levi Julian

Former PM Ehud Olmert Enters Prison Today

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert entered prison at 10 am Monday morning to become the first Israeli head of state to serve a jail term.

He is to stay in a special wing at the Ma’asiyahu Prison in Ramle, with extra security to protect him at all times outside his cell.

Only specially screened inmates are allowed in his wing, and the wing itself has a separate area for eating, medical and other activities, apart from the majority of other inmates. These measures are not only designed to protect Olmert – they are also meant to ensure that no prisoner will be able to extract information from the former head of state.

Olmert’s sentence is set for a minimum of 18 months but could run as long as 27 months, depending on the outcome of current appeals.

Olmert released a video statement to the media earlier Monday professing his innocence. In his statement Olmert again denied his guilt after being convicted of bribery and graft.

“At this hour it is important for me to say once again that I am innocent of charges that I took bribes. None of the charges stemmed from the time during which I served as prime minister,” Olmert said in the clip.

On the one hand, he called the prison sentence “an unusual, serious event that shows the strength of Israeli democracy.”

But he said his particular case “snowballed for reasons that were not related to legal considerations,” as if to accuse the judicial system of being guilty of political corruption instead.

He did, however, grudgingly admit to “making mistakes,” albeit “not of a criminal nature.”

Hana Levi Julian

PM Olmert, Two More Holy Land Hotel Defendants to Start Prison Terms

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

On Monday a new chapter will be written in Israel’s annals of politics and crime, as former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (Kadima) enters white-collar Ma’asiyahu prison near Ramla for 27 months for receiving a bribe and deception. Olmert was originally sentenced to six years, but the high court acquitted him on one major indictment. Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran wrote in his opinion that Olmert “is a public servant who embezzled money and betrayed the public’s trust, for which he must be punished.”

Olmert will be staying at Division 10 at Ma’asiyahu, set up for normative inmates who committed relatively light crimes. He will share a cell with two other inmates, dine at the division’s own mess hall and be able to use the gym. In one year he could appeal for a sentence reduction.

Danny Dankner and Meir Rabin, two of the defendants who were convicted in the Holy Land Hotel scandal, will also begin serving their sentences on Monday, after Supreme Court Justice Miriam Naor rejected their petition to receive another hearing in their case and to lighten their punishment. Naor ruled that neither defendant’s case revealed any exception that would justify an additional hearing.

Dankner was convicted in the Tel Aviv District Court, along with other defendants, and last month the Supreme court accepted his appeal partially, reducing his sentence from three to two years. Dnakner was convicted of giving bribes and money laundering.

Meir Rabin, who served as an aide to Shmuel Dachner, who ended up turning state’s evidence, was convicted of taking about $350,000 from Dankner, to help the latter re-zone lands owned by his family. He will serve five years, on receiving a bribe and money laundering.

JNi.Media

Swedish FM Margot Wallström in Rental Corruption Scandal

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer gal. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, who’s been accusing Israel of dealing disproportionately with Arab terrorists, and went as far as to accuse Israel of “extrajudicial executions” of said terrorists, might be otherwise engaged for awhile, on account of her Stockholm apartment which, according to Aftonbladet, she received as a nice gesture from Sweden’s biggest trade union, Kommunal, which in her case overlooked the waiting list of a few years everyone else had to obey. Well, not everyone, according to the daily newspaper, there were several key left-wing politicians who enjoyed the same VIP treatment.

Wallstrom claimed she had no idea about the special treatment, saying that when she had taken the apartment she insisted on receiving “confirmation from the highest level that they followed all the rules and procedures in assigning apartments, and that I was not going to jump ahead of anyone on the waiting list.”

She is very moral that way. In fact, she opted to push the union leadership under the bus, very much in Arab terrorist fashion, saying, “They lied to me,” and “I am angry and disappointed with Kommunal.”

A spokesman for Wallström told TT she had been offered the apartment last spring during an informal discussion with the head of Kommunal. But a spokesman for the opposition Moderaterna party said The Minsiter’s finger-pointing did not strike him as being very believable and that “she should shed light on her own actions,” since “she is part of the government and should not create a relationship of dependency with a trade union.”

Expressen, which has been critical of Wallström’s attacks on Israel, said she was a hypocrite, “pretending to be a woman of the people while skipping above the people on the housing waiting list.”

JNi.Media

Arye Deri Returns as Interior Minister

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Twenty-two years after he was forced to resign in disgrace from the position, Shas chairman Arye Deri was approved Sunday by the government as Israel’s new Interior Minister.

Two decades ago, the Shas minister – who recently served as Minister of Economy – was forced to resign from the Interior Ministry after an indictment on charges of corruption.

Deri was later convicted and sentenced to a four-year prison term on charges of bribery.

The former Economy Minister replaces former Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, who recently resigned.

Shalom left his position in the wake of accusations of sexual harassment by a number of former employees.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Abbas Controlling Multi Billion Dollar Fund that Hasn’t Had a CEO in 15 Years

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Palestinian National Fund has existed since the 1960s, but its leaders keep its operations out of the limelight. It manages billions of dollars, has not appointed an active CEO for 15 years to allow the PA Chairman to retain control over it. Part of the money is funneled to PA officials and funds anti-Israel activities, including organizing rallies in support of the boycott against Israel, Calcalist reported Sunday.

Israelis tend to view Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as a gray and weak leader who lost his control and influence on the Palestinian street, and therefore may no longer be relevant. That may be true, but at least one area in the Palestinian arena the veteran, 80-year-old leader continues to hold tremendous power — he effectively controls the billions of dollars of the Palestinian National Fund, the most important economic institution in the PA, whose activity is conducted mainly in the dark and which has been linked in recent years to a near-complete lack of transparency and widespread corruption. Abbas decides where Palestinian money is directed in the domestic arena, be it for the benefit of the PA resident or to other, more clandestine activities.

Pursuant to the PLO rules, the Palestinian National Fund should be managed by a special council, and its chairman should be a member of the PLO executive committee. In practice, over the past 15 years the fund has been run without Chairman, in violation of PLO rules. A decade ago, then PLO chairman Abbas appointed Ramzi Khouri, head of the office of Yasser Arafat, as CEO. With Arafat gone, Khouri has been a sworn Abbas loyalist. This means that in practice Abbas controls the fund money, and the flow of its funding for anti-Israel propaganda and activities is being carried out with his knowledge and approval.

The Palestinian National Fund is currently funded by donations received from states, organizations, and individuals, as well as from returns on investments in economic projects (companies, real estate, etc.) all over the world, especially in Arab countries. Its exact scope is unknown, but it is estimated at tens of billions of dollars. One of the activities the fund finances is the war of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority against Israel’s international legitimacy.

Although the size of the annual budget for this cause is not known, it appears to be a fairly high on the fund’s list of priorities. Last August, when Chairman of the PLO Foreign Affairs Department Tayseer Khaled received the freed prisoner Khader Adnan in his office in Ramallah. Khaled announced that the priority of his department is “to expand the international boycott against the ‘state of occupation,’ to prosecute Israeli war criminals in the international court and to preventing the Judaization of Jerusalem.” Visitors to the website of the PLO Department of Foreign Affairs can see these priorities plainly, with regular reports from all over the globe on boycott initiatives against Israel and other material portraying Israel in a negative light. Last week the PLO called on Palestinian communities abroad to organize rallies to support for the Palestinian people in Jerusalem.

But the same fund is being used by Abbas to reign in insubordinate PLO members. Last year it was reported that due to disagreements between Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo, the PA Chairman decided to take revenge on the latter and revoked his powers associated with the National Trust funds. Sources close to Abbas explained the move by the authority in the fact that supervising the fund is not the responsibility of the PLO secretary general.

Another example: last year, it was reported that Abbas had ordered stopping allocations to the Popular Front—a PLO member—from the budgets of the National Trust. He did so in response to criticism from this group over security cooperation with Israel in Judea and Samaria.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-abbas-controlling-multi-billion-dollar-fund-that-hasnt-had-a-ceo-in-15-years/2015/10/18/

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