Top lawyer suspected in major bribery case faints outside court
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Top lawyer suspected in major bribery case faints outside court

Police claim Ruth David, who allegedly obstructed police investigation, staged her collapse outside courthouse before remand hearing

Former TA district attorney Ruth David arrives at the Magistrate's Court in Jerusalem on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, after being arrested in connection with the investigation against lawyer Ronel Fisher (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Former TA district attorney Ruth David arrives at the Magistrate's Court in Jerusalem on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, after being arrested in connection with the investigation against lawyer Ronel Fisher (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A former Tel Aviv district attorney who was arrested this week fainted on the steps of the Jerusalem District Court Friday ahead of a hearing for the extension of her remand.

Ruth David, who’s a suspect in a corruption scandal and stands accused of obstructing an investigation of another lawyer, was taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in light condition. Her remand was subsequently extended until Sunday.

A police official said the fainting episode was “an attempt to foil the current extension of her arrest” and called for the hearing to be conducted in her absence. The officer said that there was evidence of David counseling previous clients to feign fainting.

David’s legal counsel denied the charge of her staging the episode, saying David’s collapse was because of her “irregular medical condition.”

Investigators added dramatic new evidence against David which sheds light on the case, Israel Radio reported.

David was arrested Tuesday over allegations that she obstructed the investigation of prominent lawyer Ronel Fisher, who is suspected of bribery.

The Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department suspects that David, now a senior partner in Fisher’s private law firm, attempted to tamper with testimonies and leak sensitive information connected to the investigation against him.

Fisher was arrested in July for allegedly selling information to criminal suspects regarding their cases for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and transferring money to police officers in exchange for the termination of his defendants’ investigations.

His investigation has led to a flood of arrests, among them the former publisher of Hebrew-language daily Maariv, Ofer Nimrodi.

David is also suspected of committing violations during her service in the Justice Ministry. During her eight years as district attorney, she was involved in some of the past decade’s highest-profile criminal cases, including the trial of former finance minister Avraham Hirschson, who was eventually convicted of stealing close to NIS 2 million.

Ronel Fisher seen at the Jerusalem Magistrate's court on July 7, 2014, (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Ronel Fisher seen at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s court on July 7, 2014, (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Speaking to reporters, her attorney, Yair Golan, denied the allegations, saying she was cooperating with the investigators fully. He added that she was not being questioned regarding her connections to Fisher during her time as district attorney.

“Throughout her entire life, she was a symbol of the rule of law, so I ask everyone to please wait,” he said.

Police have also arrested three lawyers and a senior health system official, who allegedly prescribed a fictitious prescription to a police officer involved in the case.

The unnamed public hospital doctor allegedly offered the prescription to Eran Malka, a retired top officer in the national fraud unit, who was arrested for his suspected role in the case, leading to his hospitalization on grounds of mental breakdown.

Following his commitment, police were prohibited from questioning him for over four hours a day, causing the case to be dragged out substantially.

Fisher was apprehended in a sting operation after he was handed a suitcase containing NIS 150,000 (about $43,875) by Ashdod Port union leader Alon Hassan, who was under investigation for his alleged role in a port corruption ring, and who was collaborating with police during the time of the sting operation. All of the bills had been marked by police.

Daniel Bernstein contributed to this report.

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