Israeli PM accused of corruption

Published August 19, 2003

TEL AVIV, Aug 18: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was embroiled in an embarrassing new affair following reports on Monday that he had intervened on behalf of two neighbours from his home village in a land compensation battle.

He reportedly asked the transport ministry to increase the compensation it had granted to Menashe and Mordehai Malmud for the expropriation of their land in Kfar Malal, near Tel Aviv.

The land is to be used for the construction of a new road, route 531.

According to the economic daily Globes, this allowed the brothers to obtain 110,000 dollars more than the amount orginally proposed, taking the total to 720,000 dollars.

Sharon’s office confirmed the prime minister had put the two brothers in contact with the ministry but denied that he had exercised influence to obtain more compensation.

“It’s good to have a good neighbour,” ran the headline in the Maariv daily which, like all newspapers, ran the story prominently Monday.

In the wake of the revelations, Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein set up a team to investigate the claims, Israeli public radio reported.

Attorney Rachel Sukar, who heads the team, has asked the transport ministry to provide all relevant information about the construction of the road and the related compensation claims.

Sharon and his sons are already at the centre of several police investigations, although the premier does not appear to be directly threatened and is still going strong in the polls.

Sharon’s sons Omri and Gilad have been interrogated by the National Fraud Squad over suspicions the family violated campaign finance laws by obtaining a loan from South African businessman and family friend Cyril Kern in 1999.

Gilad was also questioned over the so-called “Greek island” affair. He allegedly helped contractor David Appel promote a multi-million dollar resort in exchange for cash and a commitment by Appel to pour money into the Sharon family’s ranch in the Negev desert. —AFP

Opinion

Editorial

More than economics
Updated 05 Oct, 2022

More than economics

Ishaq Dar’s appointment is but a sign of the paradigm shift in economic policymaking.
Dens of corruption
05 Oct, 2022

Dens of corruption

MOST prisons in Pakistan are a microcosm of the inequitable and exploitative world outside their walls. A probe by...
Football tragedy
05 Oct, 2022

Football tragedy

SPORTS arouses the rawest of human emotions. Football is no exception — in fact, the passions on display at...
Cipher inquiry
Updated 04 Oct, 2022

Cipher inquiry

Inquiry will likely end nowhere, or, worse, be used as a tool of victimisation.
Further delay?
04 Oct, 2022

Further delay?

KARACHI Administrator Murtaza Wahab’s announcement that the second phase of Sindh’s LG polls — primarily...
Losing to England
04 Oct, 2022

Losing to England

AFTER tantalisingly close finishes in the fourth and fifth matches against an England side visiting the country for...