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Israeli Electric Corporation sues former director

Ex-judge Dan Cohen was extradited last week from Peru to face bribery charges stemming from his tenure as director of IEC

Dan Cohen (photo credit: Channel 2)
Dan Cohen (photo credit: Channel 2)

The Israel Electric Corporation filed a $200 million lawsuit on Sunday against ex-judge and former IEC director Dan Cohen.

Cohen, 71, was indicted in 2005 for taking millions of shekels’ worth of bribes from multinational firms such as Siemens while serving as a director at the Israel Electric Corporation.

The suit filed Sunday morning in the Central District Court also lists charges against another member of the IEC board of directors, Oren Ahronson, and his brother-in-law Shlomo Daniel, as well as Siemens.

According to the suit, the IEC claims that the former director and his partners committed fraud and bribery in order to swing a contract worth upwards of half a billion euro. The indictment claims that Siemens paid Aronson and Daniel bribes, in exchange for Cohen pushing the contract with Siemens to purchase gas turbines and related services, Israel Radio reported.

Cohen fled to Peru, with which Israel does not have an extradition agreement, seven and a half years ago when he became aware of the suspicions against him. Earlier this month he was arrested in Lima, capital of Peru, after Peru agreed to extradite him. He was forced to board a plane bound for Israel, where he was arrested and put on trial on suspicion of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, as well as disruption of legal proceedings.

Before fleeing Israel, Cohen was interrogated twice by the Israel Securities Authority on suspicion of bribery. Though he was let off with a warning after pleading innocent, he fled 2005, refusing to return. As a result, he was classified as a runaway criminal. Israel attempted to sign a plea bargain with him, but could not comply with his demands, such as unfreezing his bank account. Finally, Peru agreed to extradite him.

In 2009, Cohen was indicted in absentia for bribery, fraud and other grave offenses.

Cohen was appointed to serve on the Israel Electric Corporation’s board of directors in 1991 by then-energy and infrastructure minister Yuval Ne’eman of the Tehiya party. Previously, he had served as a judge in the Beersheba District Court.

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