One of the 17 public officials questioned by police in connection to fraud and other white collar crimes in Rishon L’Tzion was Knesset Coalition Chairman MK (Likud) David Bitan. Bitan was questioned by the Israel Police Serious Crimes Unit on Sunday, 15 Kislev for thirteen hours.

He was questioned ‘under warning’, which signals a criminal indictment against him is likely, going back to his tenure as a member of the Rishon L’Tzion Planning Board. Bitan allegedly advanced projects for monetary gain, working with underworld elements seeking to advance their agenda in the city. It is reported that Bitan allegedly took part in law-breaking activity to pay back significant monetary debts. In fact, Bitan is suspected of having received over NIS 1 million from organized crime figures.

After leaving Police Lahav 433 Headquarters, Bitan told reporters he has absolutely no plans to resign from Knesset. He added he relies on the judicial and law enforcement agencies to get to the truth.

According to police, Bitan is likely to be questioned a second time on Wednesday, 18 Kislev.