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More arrests in Holyland affair

JTA

April 21, 2010 | 1:24 pm

Two more suspects were arrested in Israel’s Holyland real estate scandal.

Former Bank Hapoalim Chairman Dan Dankner and Yaakov Efrati, the ex-head of the Israel Lands Authority, were arrested Wednesday on charges of bribery. Danker is suspected of bribing Efrati to approve land-use changes for the Holyland residential complex in Jerusalem, which benefited a company owned by Danker’s family, according to reports.

Danker stepped down as head of Israel’s Bank Hapoalim after being accused of offering risky lines of credit. He is under investigation in a different case by the National Fraud Unit for breach of trust and several criminal offenses.

Also Wednesday, prosecutors investigating former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s role in the Holyland affair denied that they are negotiating with Olmert’s former bureau chief Shula Zaken for her testifying against her former boss.

Zaken, who has been overseas since the Holyland affair became public, will return to Israel next week, her attorney said Wednesday. The attorney also denied that Zaken will serve as a witness for the state.

Olmert’s precedessor as Jerusalem mayor, Uri Lupolianski, was arrested last week in connection with the corruption scandal.

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