Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
United Torah Judaism Minister Yaakov Litzman accompanied by his ever-present aide Motti Babchik, February 14, 2019.

The police have arrested four suspects, including a senior aide to a minister and officials in the private sector, on suspicion of being involved in one of the most serious and extensive corruption cases in recent years.

The police announced Sunday that as part of an ongoing battle against corruption offenses, the National Unit for Fraud Investigations in the Lahav 433 Unit commenced with the overt phase of its investigation.

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After a covert and strenuous investigation, the public phase began Sunday with the arrest a number of suspects on suspicion of committing bribery, fraud and breach of trust offenses.

The police released the identity of the detainees, among whom is a senior Haredi official, Motti Babchik, who serves as an adviser and associate of Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism). Also detained: CEO of the Lobbying Policy company, Erez Gilhar, and the lobbyist Menachem Gesheid.

Searches were conducted at several addresses in addition to the suspects’ homes and offices during the morning raid.

According to the suspicion, the public employee allegedly acted on a number of occasions together with those involved for the sake of greed, for the advancement and preservation of the interests of large commercial companies, while exploiting his status and in complete conflict with the public interest.

The suspects were taken for questioning and will be brought for a hearing in the Rishon LeZion Magistrate’s Court.

“We will continue to act wherever there is a suspicion of public corruption that violates the rules of government, in order to expose improper processes and arrive at the investigation of the truth,” the police said.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.