A former senior official at Netivei Israel was convicted of accepting bribes

by time news

The Central District Court today (Thursday) convicted Shimon (Shimi) Ben-David, who served as deputy director of the procurement and logistics division at Netivei Israel (formerly Ma’atz), of bribery and two counts of fraud and breach of trust.

As part of a plea agreement reached by the parties, the Economic Department of the State Attorney’s Office filed an amended indictment in which Ben-David admitted that while serving as deputy director of Netivei Israel’s contracts department, he received NIS 9,000 in bribes from Mucci Kurzwald, a certified surveyor who provided consulting services to Netivei Israel; Kurzwald, who was tried separately and convicted, gave the bribe to a cousin in Ben-David’s office, on three different occasions, and initially presented it as a “holiday gift.”

In addition, Ben-David admitted that while working for the company, he was in a close relationship with Maurice Bar-Gil, the owner of two companies that provided services to Netivei Israel, and with Yitzhak and Nono and Lior Lankri, who also provided services to Nati through companies owned by Bar-Gil, and Nono. And Lankri gave the defendant, as part of the friendship between them, valuable gifts and even flew with him abroad.

Shimon Ben David, Photo: Gideon Markovich
Netivei Israel Offices (Archive), Photo: Coco
Central District Court (Archive), Photo: Yossi Zeliger

At the same time, Ben-David admitted today that he acted in dozens of meetings on behalf of the companies they own, while serving as chairman of the tenders committee in Netivei Israel, and that he did so while he was in a conflict of interest in the company’s relationship with them. Separately, they were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for service work and fines of between NIS 700,000 and NIS 900,000).

As part of a plea bargain, it was agreed that the prosecution would seek to impose on Ben-David 13 months of actual imprisonment and a fine or additional imprisonment in return and the defense would be free in its arguments.

The State Attorney’s Office is represented in the case by attorneys Keren Shamir-Oz, Eran Zeller, and Nir Weintraub, from the Economic Department of the State Attorney’s Office, accompanied by the Deputy Director of the Economic Department, Dr. Maor Even Chen.

The indictment in which Ben-David confessed is part of case 618, which is known as the “Netivei Israel case” – a large-scale corruption case investigated by investigators from the Lahav 433 unit and investigator in Tel Aviv, in which the Economic Department of the State Attorney’s Office filed thirteen indictments. Various.

The main axis of the affair revolved around corruption offenses committed in the government company for about a decade, by managers and employees in it, as well as by external suppliers including project managers, contractors and other service providers.

Attorney Eli Foxbromer’s response from the Public Defender’s Representative representing Mr. Ben David: “Shimi served the public with vigor and talent. He came to a corrupt society, eradicated the discrimination that was in society and accelerated the upgrading of red roads out of a commitment to save the lives of many.

It is not for nothing that the prosecution does not deny that the allocation of contracts was egalitarian during his time, and the companies mentioned in the indictment were not discriminated against in favor.

The committee on which he worked discussed hundreds of engagements each week, and many thousands during his tenure, of which only tens were allocated, equally, to companies run by his members, according to the experts they employed, their high performance, and after receiving all legal and professional approvals. Shimi was wrong and took responsibility for not leaving the room at the final approval stage in the committee (about a minute and a half on average for a discussion out of the thousands of hearings) about them but the prosecution also rightly withdrew from alleging malpractice or discrimination in allocations.

In addition, Shimi was wrong and took responsibility for not rejecting holiday gifts, which were not high and not unusual for a situation that was acceptable in the company. The prosecution rightly praised the revised professional considerations in his justified employment. Kurzwald was a thing of the past, and his experience and professionalism in auditing bills for payments on measurements led to budget savings of tens of millions of NIS over the years.

The thorough investigation cleared Shimi of significant suspicions, and the prosecution fairly acknowledged this, and he takes responsibility for a few mistakes he made within a vigorous, dedicated, and life-saving complex of actions.

The court will rule on it after it is presented with the complex picture, and not the State Attorney’s Office in the media as it sought to do. “

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