Recently, we became acquainted with a new bribery scandal in our districts. The affair concerns suspected acts of corruption within the framework of the Beit Shemesh City Council. According to the facts known at this stage, the suspicion relates to the ostensible commission of bribery, obtaining a thing by deception, breach of trust, tax and other offenses by two senior employees of the Beit Shemesh City Council and eight businessmen and entrepreneurs who were arrested and questioned under caution.
The Israel Police promised that it would continue to investigate and examine the affair in depth and relentlessly and employ all means necessary in order to get to the bottom of the matter. “Corruption scandals in the public sector harm the process of government and normative citizens” – the official statement said. Sharon Nahari, a defense attorney with extensive experience in representing clients in white collar crime cases, addresses the affair responds to the serious accusations, and analyzes the situation from the perspective of a lawyer who has years of experience in handling criminal offenses of this kind.
“As defense counsel in several fraud and bribery scandals, who has represented and continues to represent public officials such as the mayor of Zichron Yaakov in a corruption scandal and who is currently acting for Emmanuel mayor Ezra Gershi, he says that these affairs usually involve a large number of suspects. The police cast a wide net, not necessarily with the aim of arresting everyone, but of exposing the ringleaders” clarifies white collar lawyer Nahari. “The rest of the detainees are manipulated by the police through various tactics, in order to get them to spill the beans and cooperate in incriminating the others.”
How can it be that an affair of this magnitude was not exposed until now?
Advocate Sharon Nahari, can testify from his long experience that the exposure of the affair at such a late stage is not unusual but is actually routine. For many months, the police conduct a covert investigation in order to collect as much evidence as possible against the suspects and only when the case against them has been established beyond any doubt are arrests made.
As exemplified by the aforementioned affair, there is not always a common interest in keeping it secret. The police endeavors to recruit the less involved suspects and to induce them to cooperate, to the point where they have no interest in keeping silent. “The suspects are offered light sentences or even to serve as state witnesses, in return for them divulging and sharing all the information in their possession”, explains attorney Nahari.
Of course, had the affair not been exposed, matters would have continued to accumulate and intensify to the point where criminal offenses were committed. It should be remembered that the suspects are currently presumed to be innocent, and therefore must be released under restrictive conditions and allowed them to continue to conduct and plan their defense against the imminent suspicions and accusations.
Criminal attorney Sharon Nahari sums up: “Cases of this kind are often closed after the investigation, even against the most senior officials. The focus must be on scrutinizing all the suspicions and suspects substantively.