Holyland suspect asked about bribes to Shas leader, Lieberman

Police asked the main suspect in Israel’s largest-ever real estate scandal if Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef received bribes.

The lawyer for Meir Rabin said Monday that police asked Rabin whether he had given Yosef about $270,000 in donations, as well as bribes to two other lawmakers who served as ministers at the time, Israeli media are reporting.

“This is nonsense that should not be dignified with a response,” Lieberman’s office said.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and his successor as Jerusalem mayor, Uri Lupolianski, have been named in the bribery scandal involving a large residential development on the site of the former Holyland Hotel in Jerusalem.

Rabin is accused of advancing the building project by offering bribes to senior public figures.

Also Monday, Olmert’s former bureau chief Shula Zaken was taken into custody to be questioned about the Holyland corruption affair when she landed at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport following a long trip abroad. Police are hoping to gain evidence on Olmert’s involvement in the scandal by questioning Zaken.