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Tzur Hit with 18-count Indictment

An 18-count indictment, including charges of bribery, embezzlement, fraud and theft of IL 112 million, including personal bribery of IL 12 million, was presented yesterday in Tel Aviv district court against Michael Tzur, a leading Israeli industrialist. He faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years. His trial, for which the date was not set, will be held before a panel of three district judges. Tzur has been general director of the Israel Corporation, chairman of the board of the Zim Shipping Co. and chairman of the board of the Haifa refineries.

The charges, covering the period of 1970-1974, are listed in legal terms as theft by a public servant, receiving bribes, violating confidence and embezzlement, and receiving money under false pretenses in grave circumstances. Tzur also was accused of violating foreign currency regulations. According to the charge sheet, Tzur accepted a $1.5 million bribe in one case and the equivalent of $1.4 million in German Marks from an investors group that invested in the Israel Corporation, allegedly to get inexpensive financing from Tzur for their investments.

Tzur was charged with using the bribe funds to form a Vaduzian corporation which in turn invested funds in the Israel Corporation then headed by Tzur. He also was charged with having received a bribe of $130,000 from an Israeli agent of an Italian shipyard. According to the indictment, Tzur so manipulated matters in his capacity as Zim chairman, that Zim ordered two container ships in the Italian shipyards represented by the agent who allegedly bribed Tzur.

Tzur also was accused of receiving a bribe of $15,000 from Tibor Rosenbaum of Switzerland allegedly to persuade a foreign firm to invest $6 million in one of Rosenbaum’s Vaduzian corporations. The prosecution charged that the listing of the capital invested by Tzur for the Zim and the refineries by the Rosenbaum corporation was to produce interest which allegedly was registered as lower than the actual interest payments, with the difference deposited in Tzur accounts allegedly kept in foreign banks.

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