Kiryat Motzkin mayor charged with multiple corruption offenses

Haim Tzuri accused of offering job to activist in rival party in exchange for information, gathering municipal data on locals’ political preferences to secure reelection

Haim Tzuri, the long-term mayor of the northern city of Kiryat Motzkin. (Screenshot)
Haim Tzuri, the long-term mayor of the northern city of Kiryat Motzkin. (Screenshot)

Haim Tzuri, the mayor of Kiryat Motzkin in northern Israel, was indicted for a series of corruption charges on Sunday.

In one case, prosecutors alleged that in 2017, Tzuri and an associate contacted Dubi Spiegler, an activist of a rival party running in the municipal elections, and offered him and his wife jobs in the municipality in exchange for information on the competing faction’s activities.

In a second case, prosecutors alleged that Tzuri illegally used municipal data to gather information on residents’ political preferences to secure his reelection. In addition, public funds were allegedly used to upgrade the municipal database for Tzuri’s political needs.

When the allegations surfaced in the media, Tzuri allegedly tried to obstruct the investigation against him by hiding evidence.

The charge sheet included taking bribes, breach of trust, invasion of privacy and obstruction of justice.

Following the indictment, Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara requested the government to remove Tzuri from his position, citing the alleged serious misuse of his position.

In a Facebook post, Tzuri denied the charges but said he was not surprised by them, mentioning other mayors who had been indicted, in his view, on trumped-up charges.

“Justice will be served! I have patience and strength, patience that comes from you, the residents. There is no other option,” he wrote.

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